HMS Enterprise Captures Images of Seamounts

Royal Navy’s survey ship HMS Enterprise captured images of what appears to be two large mountains, which are actually underwater scans of the seabed off the coast of Northern Africa.

The larger of the two seamounts, the technical name for underwater mountains, was measured at 1100m which is taller than Mount Snowden.

The second, which is just a fraction shorter at 930m, is tall enough to find a place inside England’s top ten peaks.

Though intriguing, the two seamounts pose very real dangers to shipping.

They have been spotted previously with the ship’s specialist equipment, but they are now firmly on the map.

Using a hydrographic multi-beam echo sounder to send out multiple beams simultaneously, the ship’s expert team can create this incredibly detailed result.

The hydrographic survey ship, which is usually based in Plymouth, gathers and processes hydrographic and oceanographic data for planning and operational purposes.

In addition this data will be dispatched to the UK Hydrographic Office for analysis and inclusion into navigational charts and other navigational safety publications.

Since she left the United Kingdom in June 2014, HMS Enterprise has been busy mapping some of the busiest shipping lanes and maritime chokepoints in the world, including the Suez Canal, the Bab el Mandeb Straits and the Strait of Hormuz.

After a minor refit in Bahrain, home to the United Kingdom’s Maritime Component Commander in the Middle East, the survey ship returned to sea to continue with important oceanographic work.

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Press release, Image: Royal Navy