The role involves measuring and mapping the world's underwater surfaces and studying the morphology (construction) of the seabed. The information is used in:
- the production of charts and related information for navigation;
- locating offshore resources (oil, gas, aggregates);
- planning dock installations.
Hydrographic surveyors are expected to work in a wide range of differing situations and applications, from inland waters and rivers, to ports and oceans. The work may be onshore or offshore, depending on the specialist area.
The role also demands an understanding of and consideration for environmental issues.