SLU news

New echo sounder equips Svea for offshore seabed mapping

Published: 30 January 2024
Ship in harbour

The scientific equipment on board SLU's research vessel R/V Svea has been supplemented with an additional multibeam echo sounder of the Kongsberg EM 2040 MKII type. The echo sounder enables rapid mapping of large areas and the creation of high-resolution, three-dimensional maps of the seabed.

The installation and successful sea trials of the new Kongsberg EM 2040 MKII multibeam echo sounder were carried out while Svea was "home" in Lysekil.

A multibeam echo sounder sends out a large number of sound waves simultaneously, spreading out like a fan towards the bottom, bouncing back and providing an acoustic image of the seabed's appearance. Based on this, a three-dimensional image of the seabed can be created.

This method is used for seafloor mapping and research. It can be used, for example, to investigate how the seabed is affected by bottom trawling, to locate infrastructure, and to some extent, it can also be used to search for objects such as wrecks or other archaeological remains.


Björn Lindell, Coordinator
Ship Management Unit, SLU
bjö, +46 (0)18 67 15 46, +46 (0)73-086 98 86