Portland Harbour Breakwater - 3D survey of marine structures

Multibeam scan of the breakwater at Portland Harbour, Dorset. Ramboll

Multibeam scan of the breakwater at Portland Harbour, Dorset. Ramboll


Nick Clarke. Ramboll

Nick Clarke

Global Service Line Director – Ports, Marine and Waterways
T: +44 23 8081 7500

Services we provided

Over the next 50 years, a master plan and business strategy will drive the commercial development of Portland Harbour, one of the largest man-made harbours in the world. Portland Port Authority appointed Ramboll Marine and Energy Infrastructure to create a 3D surface model of the breakwaters in advance of new construction plans.

Located beside the Isle of Portland, off Dorset, on the south coast of England, Portland Harbour consists of four breakwaters — two southern and two northern. Completed in 1896, these are 4.5km long in total and 25m deep. Over the next 50 years new berths and hardstand areas will be created at the port in order to allow increased commercial activities as part of a master plan and business strategy developed by Portland Port.

Before plans could begin for new construction, a survey of the marine structures was needed to identify areas needing repair, and also as a baseline for monitoring any changes in condition.

The breakwaters and inner berths at Portland Harbour Point were surveyed above and below the waterline by the MTS Xplorer vessel. This captured laser point-cloud data above water, and multibeam side-scan sonar data below water.

Ramboll’s Marine team created complete 3D surface models of the marine structures by combining two data sets. An example of this can be seen in the image below.

The point-cloud data can be viewed using Fledermaus iview4D, Bentley point tools, Rhino3D, and Autodesk Recap. Also, a fly-through animation was created using Rhino3D.


240 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 8NW
United Kingdom
Tel:+44 20 7631 5291
Fax:+44 845 299 1610

Mail: london@ramboll.co.uk

Company registration

Company registration

Ramboll UK Limited. Registered in England & Wales. Company registration no. 03659970. Registered office: 240 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NW

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