List of diving environments by type

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The diving environment is the natural or artificial surroundings in which an underwater dive is done. It is usually underwater, but professional diving is sometimes done in other liquids. Underwater diving is the human practice of voluntarily descending below the surface of the water to interact with the surroundings, for various recreational or occupational reasons. Some of the more common diving environments are listed and defined here.

Recreational dive sites[edit]

Recreational dive sites – Specific places that recreational divers go to enjoy the underwater environment or are used for training purposes

Diver training sites[edit]

  • Swimming pool – Artificial container filled with water intended for swimming
  • Diver training tank – A container of water wide and deep enough to practice diving and underwater work skills, usually with a window through which the exercises can be viewed by the instructor
  • Confined water – A diving environment that is enclosed and bounded sufficiently for safe training purposes. Generally implies that conditions are not affected by geographic or weather conditions, and that divers can not get lost
  • Open water – Unrestricted water, generally with direct vertical access to the surface of the water in contact with the Earth's atmosphere

Hyperbaric treatment and transport environments[edit]

  • Closed bell – A pressure vessel for human occupation which is lowered into the sea to the workplace, equalised in pressure to the environment, and opened to allow the divers in and out
  • Hyperbaric stretcher – Portable pressure vessel to transport a person under pressure.
  • Hyperbaric lifeboat – Lifeboat for transporting people under pressure
  • In-water recompression – In-water treatment for decompression sickness
  • Recompression chamber – A hyperbaric chamber used to treat divers suffering from decompression illness

Environments by confinement[edit]

  • Confined space – A space with limited entry and egress and not suitable for human inhabitants
  • Confined water – A diving environment that is enclosed and bounded sufficiently for safe training purposes. Generally implies that conditions are not affected by geographic or weather conditions, and that divers can not get lost The Queensland government define confined water for recreational diving purposes as "Water which offers pool-like conditions, good visibility, and water which is shallow enough so that all divers can stand up with their heads well clear of the water".[1]
  • Open water – Unrestricted water, generally with direct vertical access to the surface of the water in contact with the Earth's atmosphere
  • Penetration diving, also known as Overhead environments – Diving under a physical barrier to a direct vertical ascent to the surface
    • Cave diving – Underwater diving in water-filled caves
    • Cavern diving – Diving in the part of a cave where the exit is visible by natural light
    • Ice diving – Underwater diving under ice
    • Intake – An opening or structure through which a fluid is admitted to a space or machine
      • Penstock – Intake structure that controls water flow to turbines or sewerage systems
    • Overhang – A topographical feature which is open to one side, but obstructed overhead, and deep enough for a diver to be under the overhang.
    • Swim-through – Arch, or short, clear tunnel that has sufficient space to allow a diver to swim through and where the opening at the far end is visible through the hole.
    • Wreck diving – Recreational diving on wrecks
    • Under ships – Maintenance and upkeep of ships

Environments by visibility[edit]

Environments by hazard[edit]

  • Benign water – Diving in environments of low risk, where it is extremely unlikely or impossible for the diver to get lost or entrapped, or be exposed to hazards other than the basic underwater environment
  • Bomb disposal – Activity to dispose of and render safe explosive munitions and other materials
  • Clearance diving – Military diving work involving underwater demolition and work with explosives
  • Combat diving
  • Contaminated water – Water containing high levels of hazardous materials
  • Currents
  • Delta P environments – List of the hazards to which an underwater diver may be exposed, their possible consequences and the common ways to manage the associated risk – Environments where a pressure difference causes flow. Usually refers to cases where the flow is likely to entrain and pull the diver into an enclosed space.
    • Intakes from the body of water – An opening or structure through which a fluid is admitted to a space or machine
    • Outlets
      • Drains
      • Penstock – Intake structure that controls water flow to turbines or sewerage systems
      • Sluice gate – A movable gate allowing water to flow under it when opened
    • Propeller – Device that transmits rotational power into linear thrust on a fluid
    • Azimuth thruster – Steerable propulsion pod under a watercraft
    • Manoeuvring thruster – Transverse or steerable propulsion device in a watercraft
  • Hazmat diving – Underwater diving in a known hazardous materials environment
  • Live-boat diving, also known as liveboat diving or live-boating – Diving from a boat which is under way (not moored) – Diving from a vessel which may have propellers or thrusters in gear during the dive.
  • Nuclear diving – Diving in an environment where there is a risk of exposure to radioactive materials
  • Penetration diving, also known as Overhead diving – Diving under a physical barrier to a direct vertical ascent to the surface
  • Sewer diving – Diving for maintenance work in sewers
  • Underwater demolition – The deliberate destruction or neutralization of man-made or natural underwater obstacles

Environments by temperature[edit]

Environments by geography[edit]

Environments by topography[edit]

  • Blue-water diving – Underwater diving in mid-water where the bottom is not visible and is out of diving range
  • Cave – Natural underground space large enough for a human to enter
  • Culvert – Structure that allows the passage of water or organisms under an obstruction
  • Dam – A barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface or underground streams
  • Deep diving – Underwater diving to a depth beyond the norm accepted by the associated community
  • Flooded mine
  • Flooded quarries – Disused and flooded quarry repurposed for underwater diving
  • Ice diving – Underwater diving under ice
  • Lake – large body of relatively still water
  • Mid-water – Away from any fixed solid reference points.
  • Muck diving – Recreational diving on a loose sedimentary bottom
  • Reef – A shoal of rock, coral or other sufficiently coherent material, lying beneath the surface of water
    • Artificial reef – Human-made underwater structure that functions as a reef
    • Coral reef – Outcrop of rock in the sea formed by the growth and deposit of stony coral skeletons
    • Rocky reef – Natural reef of rock
  • River – Natural flowing watercourse
  • Reservoir – Storage space for fluids
  • Sump – A low part of a volume that collects liquid by gravity
    • Sump (cave) – A passage in a cave that is submerged under water
  • Tunnel – An underground passage made for traffic
  • Wall diving – Underwater diving alongside a near vertical face
  • Water tank – Container for storing water

Environments by depth zone[edit]

  • Shallow water, defined as between the surf-zone and the coast
  • Intermediate water, defined as between the surf zone and wave base (where the waves just interact with the bottom and no more, usually about 80 m water depth with 10 second swells). The seafloor beneath intermediate water is termed the shoreface and is the zone where the seafloor slows down the swells by friction, so that the surf ends up being lower than it otherwise would be.
  • Deep water, defined as deeper than wave base: i.e. too deep for waves to interact with the seafloor.

Recreational divers will usually dive in the shallow to intermediate marine environment. Technical and commercial divers may venture into the deep water environment.

Environments by professional activity[edit]

  • Aquaculture – Farming of aquatic organisms
  • Aquarium – Transparent tank of water for fish and water-dwelling species
  • Archaeological sites – Place in which evidence of past activity is preserved
  • Clearance diving – Military diving work involving underwater demolition and work with explosives
  • Deep sea mining, also known as Underwater mining – Mineral extraction from the ocean floor
  • Demolition – Tearing-down of buildings and other structures
  • Dry dock – A narrow basin that can be sealed and pumped dry to allow work on a vessel
  • Fish farms – Raising fish commercially in enclosures
  • Forensic investigation
  • Inspection – Organized examination or formal evaluation exercise
  • Marine salvage – The process of recovering a ship or cargo after a shipwreck or other maritime casualty.
  • Military – Organization primarily tasked with preparing for and conducting war
  • Mooring – Any permanent structure to which a vessel may be secured
    • Single buoy mooring, also known as Single point mooring – An offshore mooring buoy with connections for loading or unloading tankers
  • Nuclear power plant – Thermal power station where the heat source is a nuclear reactor
  • Oil rig – Apparatus constructed for oil drilling
    • Oil platform, also known as Production platform – Large offshore structure with oil drilling and related facilities
  • Public safety diving – Underwater work done by law enforcement, rescue and search and recovery teams
  • Science – Systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge
  • Search and rescue – Search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger
  • Sewage treatment – Process of removing contaminants from municipal wastewater
  • Ships husbandry – Maintenance and upkeep of ships
  • Submarine pipeline – A pipeline that is laid on the seabed or below it inside a trench
  • Surveying – The technique, profession, and science of determining the positions of points and the distances and angles between them
  • Training – Acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of teaching or practice
  • Underwater construction, also known as Civil engineering – Industrial construction in an underwater environment
  • Wellhead – Component at the surface of a well that provides the structural and pressure-containing interface

Diving medium[edit]

  • Underwater environment – The aquatic or submarine environment
    • Fresh water – naturally occurring water with low amounts of dissolved salts
    • Brackish water – Water with salinity between freshwater and seawater
    • Seawater – Water from a sea or an ocean
    • Brine – A highly concentrated solution of a salt in water
    • Contaminated water – Water containing high levels of hazardous materials
      • Sewage – Wastewater that is produced by a community of people
  • Drilling fluid, also known as Drilling mud – Aid for drilling boreholes into the ground
  • Petroleum, also known as Crude oil – Naturally occurring hydrocarbon liquid found underground
  • Fuel oil – Petroleum product burned to generate power

Other[edit]

  • Drift diving – Scuba diving where the diver is intentionally transported by the water flow

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (2 December 2011). "Recreational Diving, Recreational Technical Diving and Snorkelling Code of Practice 2011" (PDF). Queensland Government Gazette. The State of Queensland (Department of Justice and Attorney-General). Retrieved 25 April 2017.