Introduction

3D Chirp is a surface-towed sub-bottom profiling system capable of imaging the upper tens of metres of the sub-surface in three dimensions with decimetric horizontal and centimetric vertical resolution. The combination of the known, highly repeatable Chirp source, with the coherent processing and interpretation afforded by true 3D seismic volumes provides the perfect base for shallow-water engineering, archaeology, military, and geological studies.

The system was developed at the National Oceanograhy Centre, Southampton, and designed by the Engineering Design and Manufacture Centre at the University of Southampton, in collaboration with GeoAcoustics Ltd, Great Yarmouth, using funding from GeoAcoustics Ltd, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and English Heritage. Subsequently, it has been successfully used during surveys in various near-shore and harbour environments on the south coast of the UK and Holland, in Lake Windermere, UK, and, more recently, in the Bay of Trondheim and Finneidfjord, Norway.

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