Detailed Mapping of the Nicaragua Canal

HKND Group, the company behind the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal project, has signed an agreement with CSA Global of Australia, entrusting CSA Global to conduct an aerial geological survey of the future canal route and Lake Nicaragua shore line. 

The survey comprises of aerial mapping/photography, topography, and geophysical and geological data.

The survey is a major step in the construction development process and supports pre-works planning, design and engineering for the canal and infrastructure”, stated senior adviser of HKND Group, John Murray.

Upon award of the survey works, CSA Managing Director Jeff Elliott stated: “CSA Global is very excited to be working with HKND on this prestigious project and we look forward to delivering the survey works and contributing to the progress of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal.”

The project will use the advanced Precise Point Positioning (PPP) technology to carry out the survey. In theory, the PPP technology only requires one control point on ground to meet the precise positioning requirement of aerial survey, with a particular advantage in remote and dense forest areas.

Airborne laser radar, to be used in the project, is capable to penetrate the dense forests and detect clearly the actual topography and surface water. When it is applied to the section of Lake Nicaragua, the lakebed topography of 8 to 10 meters below surface can be displayed with detail.

This aerial geophysical prospecting technology can also detect materials of 150 to 200 meters below ground level, including their hardness and 3D distributions. Underground water of 150 to 200 meters deep can be detected by this high technology as well.

The survey will cover a 10km-wide area along the 276km proposed canal route alignment connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific and the 2km-wide circumference of Lake Nicaragua. The airborne remote sensing data acquisition methods that will be applied are LiDAR airborne laser radar (land and near shore bathymetry), high resolution digital photography and airborne geophysics, with a planned commencement in September 2015 and completion by March 2016.

The data acquired will be formatted, processed and interpreted by experts to produce high resolution mapping for 3D topography, 1:2,000 contours, 3D geology, surface vegetation and 3D imagery. The output will produce layered maps covering surface and sub-surface. The maps are a key element applied in detailed construction planning and design.