M&E deploys advanced survey system for aggregate mining

Morgan & Eklund, Inc (M&E) – a hydrographic survey company specializing in nearshore and specialized surveys for ports, harbors, and infrastructure – has announced the successful deployment of its new Autonomous Survey Vessel (ASV) service to obtain high resolution multibeam bathymetric data to map and monitor sand and aggregate mining pits.

Central Florida is home to vast resources of high-grade sand deposits that is used for beach nourishment and golf course operations throughout the state of Florida.

Sand mining operations in Florida use hydraulic and mechanical methods for excavation, which requires precise placement of hydraulic cutter-suction dredges for the efficient removal of sand and aggregates. M&E completed construction surveys to verify the submerged pit floor conditions and direct excavation efforts for future production.

The survey is the first of its kind to use the SR-Surveyor M1.8 to map dredging pits in Florida. In addition to mapping the dredge pits, the SR-Surveyor M1.8 used its light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensor to gather point cloud data to image the pit embankments and dredged stockpile to compare the volume of sand removed from the pit to volume available to haul to a beach.

The SR-Surveyor M1.8 is a unique platform, having a stable catamaran hull design and multi-sensor package. The sensor package includes the EdgeTech 2205 multibeam, 540 kHz and 1600 kHz dual frequency side-scan, and AML SV sound velocity sensors and Velodyne LiDAR for mapping features above the water surface.

Photo: Morgan & Eklund