ENSTA Bretagne : Hydrographie, cartographie du fond du lac de Guerlédan

Hydrography and Oceanography

Measuring and mapping oceans, seas, lakes and watercourses
ENSTA Bretagne: Levé hydro marina du chateau Brest

Hydrography and Oceanography ?

These disciplines encompass the methodologies of water body (oceans, seas and lakes) and watercourse measurement and description necessary for all human activities at sea and along coastlines and rivers. These can include shipping safety, port and coastline development projects, offshore infrastructure installation (platforms, turbines, etc.), underwater infrastructure inspection, and monitoring water levels in flood risk areas. 

  • The goal of hydrography is to map underwater topography (water levels and relief). It deals with the entire information chain, from data gathering at sea to map making. 
  • Oceanography is concerned with the dynamic mechanisms of the water column: currents, waves and tides. 

Program strengths

International acclaim

ENSTA Bretagne's internationally-acclaimed Category A (highest level) Hydrography program is the only one of its kind in France. 

Top-quality certification 

This discipline is governed by international standards which allow for data sharing and guarantee data accuracy. Training is monitored by three global bodies which form the FIG/IHO/ICA Advisory Board: the International Federation of Surveyors, the International Hydrographic Organization and the International Cartographic Association.

Brest: The heart of hydrography 

The French navy founded its hydrographic and oceanographic service (SHOM) in 1720. Today, SHOM and ENSTA Bretagne bring together France's top experts in this field. 

Career prospects

•    Public organizations (SHOM, Ifremer, other research institutes and international organizations) 
•    Coastal and offshore hydrographic survey companies 
•    The marine and river energy sector (oil and gas, marine renewable energies and hydroelectric)
•    Dredging and specialized construction (coastal, port and river) 
•    Engineering firms (development, monitoring) 
•    Marine engineering (technology and software development) 

The Program
"Diplôme d'ingénieur" (i.e. MSC in Eng.) program, Hydrography and Oceanography major (Cat. A)



Parcours de 4e année pour élèves Polytechniciens

Cette spécialité est offerte aux élèves Polytechniciens dans le cadre de leur 4e année.

Masters orientés recherche

ENSTA Bretagne is co-accredited to grant the degrees

  • The Master in Physics: Physics of the Ocean and the Climate Specialty
  • The Master in Physics: Marine Geophysics Specialty
  • The Master in Physics: Data Science Speciality


PhD program
  • a 3-year program for MSc degree holders (for engineering or Master's degree graduates in hydrography, oceanography, positioning, remote sensing, etc).
  • Enrollment in ENSTA Bretagne and affiliation with the UBL-MathSTIC doctoral school and Lab-STICC (Joint Research Center 6285 of the CNRS)
Research topics

•    Geomorphometry 
•    Bathymetric data processing 
•    Ocean remote sensing 
•    Hyperspectral imaging 
•    Acoustics 
•    Hydro-sedimentary modeling GNSS use in geoscience 


•    Lab-STICC Joint Research Center (UMR CNRS 6285, ENSTA Bretagne, IMT Atlantique, ENIB, UBO and UBS), PRASYS and TOMS teams 
•    Joint Research Center for Adaptation and Diversity in the Marine Environment (Roscoff Marine Station, CNRS Sorbonne Université) 

Examples of projects and theses

•    Rabine Keyetieu’s thesis on the calibration of multi-beam echo sounder systems by inverse methods 
•    Gaspard Minster's thesis on hydro-sedimentary modeling at Raz Blanchard 
•    Coralie Monpert's thesis on automating submerged vegetation mapping by single-beam echosounder 
•    The Percebès project on stalked barnacle stock management on the Atlantic coast
•    The DIP-Nawdex project on diabatic processes in the North Atlantic 



Pierre Bosser
Associate Professor in Hydrography, Oceanography
IT Department
Lab-STICC Laboratory / AI&Ocean Department / M3 Team


Amandine Nicolle
Research Professor
Coordinator of Master’s programs in Hydrography-Oceanography
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