Proposed Deep Draft Port Kotzebue, AK

eTrac, a subcontractor to R&M Consultants, conducted a hydrographic survey located 18 miles south of the village center of Kotzebue and 17 miles south of all road access. Two locations of interest for a proposed possible deep draft port were mapped with multibeam sonar totaling 4 square miles. The transit to the working grounds aboard the landing craft (local vessel of opportunity) was roughly 36 miles a day totaling 2 hours travel time in ideal conditions. Hydrographic services include high resolution multibeam surveys collected at 200kHz in two areas proposed by the client, one shoal area and one channel area. The channel area was a complete coverage survey whereas the shoal area was a 90ft set line spacing survey with QC crosslines. Coverage in the shoaler area was reduced due to potential dangers to navigation. Working in the Arctic poses natural logistical hurdles, not least of which is the extreme weather and largely unprotected waters. During summer months, large storms off the Baldwin Peninsula create large ground swells and localized storms create large wind-generated waves in the survey area. Safety is the most important aspect to any job site and each day was assessed by the survey crew.

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