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World Hydrography Day – June 21, 2023

World Hydrography Day, celebrated every June 21, is an international day to appreciate the works of hydrographers. Hydrographers have been significant in helping us determine the modern maritime borders and underwater topography. Their efforts have not gone unseen and in 1970, the U.N. officially decided to establish an International Hydrographic Organization for all scientists and geologists. After this, 2005 saw the emergence of an entire day to celebrate and appreciate the works of hydrographers. So go on, use this day that has been set apart, to acknowledge the efforts and works of the hydrographers and their valuable contributions to the study of Earth’s geography.

History of World Hydrography Day

If you want to have a basic understanding of hydrography, then for you, it is the study of ocean depths. If you choose to go to the next level, then understand that beneath the oceans, there is a landmass that is uncharted territory, and we know very little about that surface. To understand the underwater surface, hydrographers use different techniques to collect data for scientific analysis. This entire study is known as hydrography.

Hydrography is part of geography that focuses its attention on underwater topography. The first team of hydrographers was commissioned by the Royal British Navy to study the depths of the seas and map out the shorelines. Way before all this, sea travel was always done at a distance from which shores were within sight. It was not until 1187 when magnetic compasses were invented that sea travel in open water, port to port, was made possible. But even that had some problems because magnetic compasses would malfunction under strong water currents, and because of the nonexistence of longitudinal and latitudinal lines, it was difficult to determine the position for navigation.

With the studies made by the hydrographers, and naval offices being set for this job, data were gathered and more accurate maps were made. This not only made navigation easy and reliable but also enables researchers and hydrographers to come up with more advanced methods of ocean surveys. The advancements made in the field allowed for new inventions like SONAR to detect underwater landmasses for the ships sailing above and also for the submarines to travel underwater.

World Hydrography Day timeline

Sixteenth Century
They Birth of Hydrography

The field takes off during the latter half of the century as extensive work begins to study Earth’s geography.

1790s
The First Hydrography Office

The British Navy appoints the world’s first hydrographer with a task to study the ocean depths and adjacent landmasses.

1970
The International Hydrographic Organization

The U.N. Charters the International Hydrographic Organization to collect data on hydrography.

2005
The Inaugural Celebrations

According to a resolution adopted by the U.N., June 21 is designated as World Hydrography Day to appreciate the efforts of hydrographers.

World Hydrography Day FAQs

What is the difference between Hydrography and Oceanography?

Hydrography is used to determine the underwater topography while oceanography is the study of underwater currents and other details related to the ocean.

What is the best school to study hydrography?

The University of Glasgow is considered by some to be the premier university in the league.

What is the maximum depth of an ocean?

The maximum depth of an ocean at any point is about 36161.4 ft and this point exists in the Pacific Ocean.

How to Observe World Hydrography Day

  1. Attend a lecture

    Since the day is about appreciating the works of hydrographers, you may want to appreciate them by attending a lecture organized by a hydrographer. Remember to take copious notes.

  2. Watch a documentary

    National Geographic and Discovery often release T.V. shows that discuss the remarkable features of our planet. You would be amazed by what you will find in such documentaries.

  3. Go on an expedition

    If you do not get seasick, you may want to go to a hydrographic station and participate in an expedition with the team there. Join hydrographers to study the underwater topography of the surface below the ocean.

5 Interesting Facts About Hydrography

  1. The mysterious Bermuda Triangle

    Scientists have been unable to fully explain the phenomenon in the Bermuda Triangle because of high variations in the data collected through the surveys.

  2. The first hydrographer

    Alexander Dalrymple was the first hydrographer to be officially assigned to the role.

  3. The total number of member States

    There are 93 states registered in the International Hydrographic Organization.

  4. The Geographical Information System

    The G.I.S. is a computer system that performs an in-depth analysis of the data collected through hydrographic surveys.

  5. The functions of a hydrographic survey

    These surveys seek to determine horizontal coordinates and measure the depth at those coordinates.

Why World Hydrography Day is Important

  1. Hydrography is an important discipline

    Understanding the underwater surface of the ocean is very important. It helps geologists predict sea patterns and underwater currents. Not only that, it helps to determine the temperatures and mineral content below the surface.

  2. Assists in navigation

    Hydrography has enabled us to develop sonar and other means of navigation for ships and submarines. Further developments can assist in developing — who knows — underwater colonies for humans.

  3. Hydrographer might discover Atlantis

    Atlantis remains a mystery. Maybe, with further development, we might be able to discover the remains of this advanced territory, because it should be noted, that it was not until this year that we discovered that Newzealand is part of an eighth continent, which is submerged in the pacific ocean. Now, who discovered that? Hydrographers!

World Hydrography Day dates

YearDateDay
2023June 21Wednesday
2024June 21Friday
2025June 21Saturday
2026June 21Sunday
2027June 21Monday

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