Report on a Marine Survey of the Route for an Underwater Cable Between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Sudan

SGS-DF-2003-2 Abdulnasser Al-Qutub
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During the first half of 2002, a team of experts from the Saudi Telecom Company visited the Saudi Geological Survey Headquarters in Jeddah. Saudi Telecom will implement a proposed underwater cable project (SAS 1) to link the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the Republic of Sudan, and requested SGS input, particularly in the provision of data. Accordingly, the SGS Geographical Information Systems (GIS) team presented the visitors with a map of the Red Sea, showing the Saudi and Sudanese shorelines,  the proposed route of the cable, and data pertaining to hot brines (fig. 1).  The Saudi Telecom visitors also met with members of the SGS Marine Geology Department, where they gathered further information on hot brines, and were given a number of geologic and geophysical reports and maps about their area of interest. The SGS Seismic Center provided the team with data on seismic activity in the Red Sea (fig. 2). The plan progressed following a directive from H.E. the Director of the Saudi Telecom Company (STC), International Network Operations, No. 2008, dated 18.7.1423H, which gave the go ahead to begin an appropriate marine survey for the said project, and requested that SGS nominate one of its staff to participate in the voyage that would be made to identify the preferred pathway along which the cable should be laid. In addition, a communication from HRH Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Second Deputy Premier, Minister of Defence, Aviation, and Inspector General, No. 2/8/5685, dated 9.8.1423H, was received that granted his consent for the Italian vessel Certamen to undertake survey operations. The author, a member of the SGS Marine Geology Department, was selected by the Saudi Geological Survey to join other nominees from other agencies participating in the voyage. I joined a team that included staff from the Military Survey Department of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA) and others who were nominated by the STC, in addition to a participant from the Sudan Telecommunication Company and an army officer from Sudan (Appendix 1). The French firm Alcatel, who had been selected to conduct the survey, began work during the period 2-12 Ramadan 1423H (corresponding to 7-17 November 2002G) starting from a point close to Jeddah, and ending at Port Sudan. The Certamen then completed a return voyage, during which time the collected data were double-checked, and the entire project ended in Jeddah.



Al-Qutub, A., 2003, Report on a marine survey of the route for an underwater cable between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Sudan: Saudi Geological Survey SGS-DF-2003-2, 13 p., 10 figs., 1 table, 3 apps.