Dive Team Survey

Instructions for the Reef Team Divers Survey Form

If possible try to fill out a rough copy of the team survey form, in the boat, after you surface. You can use one survey form for each for each dive or one for all dives at the same location. Use a dark pencil that will photocopy.

Position Readings at the Survey Site

Fly your dive flag just before you put divers in the water. If using GPS, record GPS Lat and Long in hundreds or thousands of a minute (If you are using a LORAN C unit, record the TDs from the LORAN unit). Take a position reading when you first anchor and check it before you pull the anchor. Remember, it is safer not to rely on recalling the coordinates later at home from the memory of your unit. Record only non-calculated L/L or TDs. You should be using the WGS-84 Datum setting (default) on your GPS unit. List the LORAN or GPS units used.

Diver Data

List all survey divers, Time in, Total bottom time, Depth, and the your estimate of the distance covered on the reef.

Bottom Material

Record the type of reef and if the reef is scattered or continuous. Note the maximum height of the material or the wreck. Indicate the amount of growth because it indicates the age of the deposit.

Bottom Composition

Record if the bottom is sand and/or shell or mud. Test the hardness of the bottom by estimating the extent of penetration of your hand. To observe prevailing current, Look for ripples in the sand. Note the height and distance between the ripples. Note the direction of the ripples in the sketch and if any scouring or silting was observed. The ripples are usually 90 degrees to the direction of the prevailing current.

Water Conditions

Estimate the bottom current and note its direction using your compass. Note water temperature and where you noticed a thermocline. Note surface water color and estimate horizontal visibility. Note any usual matter or algae. Specific gravity or salinity may be measured using a Sea Test gauge, available at aquarium stores.

Weather Conditions

Estimate wind direction, speed and wave height. Note time of high tide at the inlet from the NOAA weather broadcast, newspaper or other source.

Biological Data

Estimate the number and size of fish or invertebrates seen during survey. Use the REEF count codes as described on the form. As an option, list the count instead of the code. The length may be placed near the name or count. The order of the life listed on the form is the same that on a REEF survey form to make it easier to transfer the count data from the team survey form to the REEF survey form. REEF does not record invertebrates. REEF forms are available at each meeting.

Reference Navigation Readings

Sea Buoy navigation checkpoints are listed to checkout your GPS and LORAN unit before you leave the inlet area.


Use the lower part of the form or another sheet for a sketch and comments. Note the location of your anchor, boat and the deposits. Indicate your survey route and the heading of wrecks. Note if other boats were on the site. Show the direction of North on the sketch. Note if any photographs or videos were made during the survey.

Summary Sheet

A short summary sheet or paragraph is needed only for each site visited...not for each dive made at the same site. After checking your survey form at home, briefly describe, in the summary, your most significant observations during the surveys. Click to see a A typical Summary Page . Bring the summary, the survey forms and boat fuel/oil and air expenses to the next meeting. Mail the REEF form directly to REEF.

Dive safely and enjoy your time on the water!