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Open Access A model technique for determination and classification of spatial underwater visibility

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Underwater visibility with its spatial variation is an important factor that should be verified by any underwater operator by either divers or remotely operated vehicles. Observations made by a commercial diver and other independent tests are used in this study. Findings suggest that readings obtained with a horizontal Secchi disk made with a transparent tube periscope are representative of the diver observations of underwater visibility conditions. A good fit is also observed between the vertical Secchi disk readings and diver observations: R 2 = 0.995. These observations were validated in brackish water outside Stavanger, Norway, and implications of these findings are described. Measurements suggest three classes of visibility conditions affecting a diver's ability to perform visual activities underwater. The relevance of these three classes for the underwater industry is discussed. Results of this study are compared with observation from riverines in the Niger Delta in West Africa, a region where underwater visibility conditions are of concern during maintenance of underwater facilities.
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Keywords: DIVER VISIBILITY; SECCHI DISK; UNDERWATER VISIBILITY; WATER CLARITY; WATER TRANSPARENCY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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