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Israel's National Seabed Survey

Israel's territorial waters in the Mediterranean encompass an area of 6000 square kilometers. The scope and diversity of human activities in this area are constantly increasing and include shipping, military and policing, fishing, oil and gas exploration, natural gas production, laying of pipelines and communication cables, waste disposal, seawater desalination, plans for the construction of artificial islands and more. Sustainable development of this area requires detailed and reliable bathymetry (water depth) data and knowledge of the nature of the seabed and its overlying sediment. Such information is also of great scientific value in the context of understanding the geological history of the area and the processes that are presently affecting it. On this background the IOLR, the Geological Survey of Israel (GSI) and the Survey of Israel joined forces to carry out a National Seabed Survey (NSS).

The primary objective of the NSS is to create a national seabed data base which will be open to the public and provide information for navigation, engineering projects, environmental models, assessment of seismic hazards, geological research and more. The NSS is primarily a multibeam sonar survey carried out by a Kongsberg-Simrad EM 1002 system of the GSI installed on the IOLR research vessel Etziona. In addition, measurements of the magnetic field and seismic profiles of the uppermost sediment layers are conducted in selected areas. It is planned to complete the data collection phase of the survey by the end of 2006.

 
Bathymetry of the area off Haifa, northern Israel
Data collection IOLR
Data processing GSI

Bathymetry of the area off Gaash, central Israel
Data collection IOLR
Data processing GSI

Bathymetry of the Achziv Canyon, northern Israel
Data collection IOLR
Data processing GSI

Seabed area mapped until February 2005
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