StrataBox HD Shallow Water Geophysical Exploration

Published 10/14/2020

Shallow water sub bottom profiling has a myriad of issues over the years in obtaining quality data in very shallow water environments.  Between bulky equipment and multiple returns, this has made shallow water operations difficult to say the least. Syqwest’s Stratabox HD has been designed especially for shallow water operations, notorious for their difficulty and multiple returns.  Our Stratabox HD  is ideal for surveying in shallow water, harbors, and waterways and pre- and post-dredge applications.  It is a simple-to-operate, sub-bottom profiling system contained in a single portable splash proof unit.   Our Stratabox HD offers a unique and Alternative Approach to Shallow Water Automated Three-Dimensional Quantitative Sediment Classification with its TVG gain, bottom tracking algorithms, and its unique CHIRP sweep mode of operations.  This allows for high 16 bit CHIRP bandwidth signal processing and 16 Bit SEG-Y data storage for full spectrum analysis of stored data, offering some of the highest resolution in the industry.

You can see the StrataboxHD in action in very shallow water conditions during a geophysical exploration at the ancient maritime Maya site of Vista Alegre, Yucatan Mexico.

SyQwest Stratabox 10 kHz, with the transducer mounted to a small boat propelled by an electric motor. Most  common acoustic gear used for marine seismic surveying has a minimal operating depth of several meters or greater. Additionally, obstacles in shallow water may create navigation hazards and damage the survey equipment or boat. The coastal areas of the northern Yucatan Peninsula present many challenges for seismic survey, such as mangrove islands and forests, seagrass meadows, and very shallow water. The Stratabox HD  is specifically designed for working in shallow coastal environments. It is advantageous due to its high resolution output, low cost (purchase and operation), ease of transport and setup in the field, and simple, single-person operation. The system's user interface allows a certain level of real time interpretation of the data, allowing modification of survey parameters on the go..

Stratabox transducer mounted on the survey dinghy. The extremely shallow conditions around the site required very minimal draft for the transducer and the many obstacles were overcome by using a simple boat


Interpreted representative seismic line from the East Bay. Different color lines show the distinct seismic reflectors identified. (C) Correlation of sediment cores from the East Bay and the seismic profile in their collection location.

Surface contour map interpolation (1 msec contour resolution), (B) interpolation ER3 horizon in perspective 3D view (with vertical exaggeration; 1 msec depth of TWTT represents the seafloor), (C) ER3 surface interpolation. White lines represent the seismic lines collected and used for interpolation. Inset shows the surface within the sites map.


Full Survey Report: