In 2007 the Royal Thai Navy purchased three EM 3002 Dual head shallow water multibeam
echosounder systems (now available as the more modern EM 2040) for installation on three brand new survey motor launches built
specifically for the task of charting the Mekong River.
The Royal Thai Navy has purchased three EM 3002 Dual head shallow water multibeam echosounder systems for installation on three brand new survey motor launches.
The Royal Thai Navy, Hydrographic Department, has embarked on an ambitious project
using three EM 3002D multibeam echosounder systems to accurately chart the river
to allow greater safety of navigation through the river channel. Key personnel involved
in the project, Admiral Congvat Neelasri and Director General and Captain Taywan
Sukkasem mentioned that the information will also be beneficial for water resource
management and studying the river's behaviour for erosion prevention.
The first phase of the charting process has already taken place with all EM 3002D
system working very effectively. The survey conditions prove to be a very demanding
environment, with high current flows and turbid water conditions. Because of the
very shallow water depths, dual head systems were chosen to give maximum swath widths
with accurate bathymetry (to IHO special order 1 category) out to 10 x water depth.
About the Mekong River
The Mekong River stretches 4,200 kilometers and is the tenth largest river system
in the world. Beginning in the mountains of Tibet, the Mekong flows south into China's
Yunnan Province, where it drops more than 4,000 meters and emerges into an alluvial
delta that spans the Golden Triangle where Laos, Burma and Thailand meet. The river
courses through Laos forming a border with Thailand, then flows through Cambodia
including its capital Phnom Penh before culminating in the Vietnam delta and the
South China Sea.
The Mekong River has long been a source of political tension between countries
it runs through. This is due to environmental issues such as dam's being built along
the river, pollution and water levels.