Fugro Awarded NOAA Contract for Airborne Gravity Data to Aid Prediction of Floodwater Inundation

Leidschendam, The Netherlands, 6th September, 2013 – Fugro has been awarded a contract to collect airborne gravity data by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) Coastal Services Center (CSC) and National Ocean Service (NOS). Under funds released as part of the Hurricane Sandy supplemental bill, this new contract will provide for additional data collection over the Mid-Atlantic states as part of the NGS programme known as Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D).

NOAA’s GRAV-D project has been underway since 2007 and is expected to take up to 15 years to complete. The programme will allow for a much improved geoid model, which will impact directly on height modernisation mapping and related studies, including sea-level rise baseline and monitoring. The collection of gravity data over the northeast U.S., from North Carolina to Maine, will support updating elevations (approximately how heights above sea level are determined). Accurate heights, especially along coastal areas, are critical to predicting the extent of flooding from a storm surge from a hurricane; they also allow the prediction of where water will flow as flooding dissipates. The new vertical datum supplied by the project will correct errors of 50 centimetres (approximately 20 inches) on average in the US. A 50-centimetre error can result in thousands of acres of inundation that would be predicted incorrectly.

“NGS’ GRAV-D project is happy to contract this work with Fugro as a continuation of the excellent work the Fugro team has provided in recent survey work,” commented Dr. Vicki Childers, GRAV-D Project Manager/Section Chief. “Fugro is a great partner with us and is very receptive to the needs of the project. We feel assured of a positive outcome while working with Fugro.”

Fugro’s expertise in responding to water challenges has also been recognised with the leadership of an American Dutch strategy team taking part in the ‘H209 Forum’ this month. Opening speakers at the two-day event are Honorary chairs Shaun Donovan, US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, who have previously signed an MOU to enhance the exchange of knowledge and expertise in water management between The Netherlands and the USA.

Fugro’s strategy team, amongst the brightest water-minds from both sides of the Atlantic, will present a session on the protection of coastal areas from future storms together with their solutions for keeping such vulnerable areas safe and resilient. The central conference theme, ‘Water Challenges for Coastal Cities,’ includes innovative water technology and the economics and governance of water.

H209 Forum is expected to be a lively, hands-on, solutions-oriented conference with conclusions that will benefit coastal cities worldwide. It takes place in New York, USA on 9th and 10th September.

For information about H209 Forum, visit the event website: www.h209forum.org
About Fugro
Fugro is a world leading service-provider in the collection and interpretation of data relating to the Earth’s surface and sub-surface, and in the support of infrastructure developments on land, at the coast and on the seabed. Through its international network, Fugro provides the expertise and technology that support the exploration, development, production and transportation of the world’s natural resources.