In the azure waters off the coast of Cartagena, Spain lies a hidden treasure trove for divers and marine enthusiasts. Islas Hormigas located within the marine reserve of Cabo de Palos, boast an underwater paradise teeming with wrecks and vibrant marine life. The Project Baseline Islas Hormigas Team of May 2023 embarked on a beautiful week to this marine wonderland.
Our primary mission was to collect data of the bathymetric line on 18 m and create photogrammetry models of the wrecks. In collaboration with Project Baseline Islas Hormigas, this project aimed to contribute to the preservation and understanding of this remarkable ecosystem.
A bathymetric line is also known as a depth contour or depth curve. By examining bathymetric lines, scientists and researchers can gain insights into the underwater topography, including the location and shape of underwater mountains (seamounts), ridges, trenches, canyons, and other geological features. These maps are crucial for navigation, marine exploration, understanding marine ecosystems, and studying processes such as ocean currents, sediment transport, and plate tectonics.
Designated as a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance and a Special Protection Area for Birds, the marine reserve of Cabo de Palos is a haven for diverse marine flora and fauna. The rich biodiversity and crystal-clear waters of this natural underwater landscape make it a destination for scientists, divers, and nature enthusiasts alike.
We started the project with one day of workshop, where we learned how to lay the line and how to use Mnemo survey device. MNemo records the length of the line you have just swum along, along with the initial and final depth/tilt angle and the heading. These data are directly integrated into the 3D mapping software Ariane.
The next days we laid the line underwater, and surveyed the whole line. Parallely, a team of TEC-divers gathered images and videos of the wrecks laying around Bajo de Fuera, to process them further to photogrammetry models.
This Project is a long-term project, and every edition is going deeper, to record the structure of the underwater pinnacle to the depths. Are you interested in joining ? Contact us!
Team of March 2023 Edition:
Joe Colls Burnett