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Utility Navigation

Marine Operations


NOAA Ship Surveyor

Decommissioned NOAA Ship Surveyor.

Built at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company at San Diego, California, in 1959. The building of this ship marked the beginning of a major effort to modernize the Coast and Geodetic Survey fleet and make it capable of conducting operations worldwide. The Surveyor also marked the end of an era as it was the last steamer put into service by the Coast and Geodetic Survey. In service 1960-1995. Worked in Pacific Ocean from the Beaufort Sea to the Palmer Peninsula of Antarctica during its career. Known affectionately as “Old Workhorse” by those who served, this was the first NOAA ship equipped with a deep-water multi-beam echosounder. This ship conducted hydrographic surveys in areas ranging from Norton Sound Alaska to American Samoa. It was the primary ship for studying the Alaskan Arctic for the Outer Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment Program (OCSEAP) and the primary ship for studying Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR.) It was the first NOAA ship equipped with a deep-water multi-beam system and conducted multi-beam surveys on the United States West Coast, off the southern coast of Alaska, throughout the Juan de Fuca Ridge area, and in Hawaiian waters. This ship is commemorated by Surveyor Fracture Zone, Surveyor Gap, and Surveyor Seachannel. It discovered Axial Seamount on Endeavor Ridge, a seamount that has apparently been split in half by seafloor spreading.

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Reviewed: July 22, 2019. Contact us with page issues.

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