International boundary demarcation work

Geodetic Networks & International Boundaries

Through our experience in this field Peter Merrett felt highly honoured to be invited to tutor at 2 of IBRU’s workshops on International Boundary Demarcation. IBRU is the International Boundary Research Research Unit based at Durham University. They provide research and consultancy and training to National Governments, Lawyers and Survey Departments of many countries around the World on both land and maritime boundaries.

Merrett Survey has worked for the UN and also direct to National Governments in recording to the highest international geodetic standards the borders between:-

Cameroon and Nigeria (1800km + border) – We installed a primary and secondary control network after winning a competitive tender issued by the United Nations. Our network was used by teams of Government representatives and surveyors from both countries – the CNMC – Cameroon Nigeria Mixed Commission, to decide and agree and then mark ( demarcate ) the boundary.

Mozambique and Malawi – We provided ground control that enabled an aerial lidar survey which was used to determine the watershed ( the legal definition of the boundary in a mountainous part of their shared border ).

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait – The boundary demarcation had fallen in to dis-repair and so it was decided to replace existing pillars and install additional ones to better define the border. Plus aerial mapping of the border regions was undertaken. Merrett Survey needed to survey existing evidence of the border and to set out new pillar locations and ensure ‘old’ ones were removed and the new ones placed precisely in the correct location. The new system of markers / pillars was then surveyed and reported in the latest ITRF coordinates ( International Terrestrial Reference Frame ).

Kuwait and Iraq – Following the Gulf war some pillars were damaged or had literally ‘fallen’ in to dis-repair, so a similar exercise to the Kuwait/Saudi border stated above, was undertaken.

Israel and Lebanon – This work was a little different in that we were commissioned to install an area wide DGPS system that UNIFIL forces could use to record any locations that would be agreed in the future between the 2 countries along a border that is not currently agreed.

Ethiopia and Eritrea – Technically we won this work from the UN, but hostilities broke out again and our contract never came to fruition. Peace has now returned and we hope one day we could assist with defining and demarcating this boundary.

Geodetic networks – Not all of our geodetic survey work has been associated with international boundaries and we have completed work on quality control of mapping for the Ordnance Survey and IGN France. Plus high accuracy levelling of the benchmark network in Bermuda and the control network in Mauritius.

Saudi Arabia - Kuwait border - Geodetic survey work - high accuracy GNSS

Kuwait – Saudi Arabia boundary survey

Nigeria - Cameroon Boundary - damarcation surveys

Construction of boundary demarcation
pillar – Cameroon / Nigeria border

Merrett Surveys like to travel - river crossing in Cameroon

The work involves some interesting access
problems – we go to the remotest locations

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