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 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
  • Confined space – A space with limited entry and egress and not suitable for human inhabitants
  • 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 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 – The extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth
  • Flooded quarries – Disused and flooded quarry repurposed for underwater diving
  • Ice diving – Underwater diving under ice
  • Lake – A body of relatively still water, in a basin surrounded by land
  • Mid-water
  • Muck diving – Recreational diving on a loose sedimentary bottom
  • Reef – A bar of rock, sand, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of water
    • Coral reef – Outcrop of rock in the sea formed by the growth and deposit of stony coral skeletons
  • River – Natural flowing watercourse
  • Reservoir – A 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 professional activity[edit]

  • Archaeological sites – Place in which evidence of past activity is preserved
  • Construction site – Place at which a building or infrastructure is constructed
  • Deep sea mining, also known as Underwater mining – Mineral extraction from the ocean floor
  • 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
  • Marine salvage – The process of recovering a ship or cargo after a shipwreck or other maritime casualty.
  • 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
  • Oil rig – Apparatus constructed for oil drilling
    • Oil platform, also known as Production platform – Large offshore structure with oil drilling and related facilities
  • Wellhead – Component at the surface of a well that provides the structural and pressure-containing interface
  • Submarine pipeline – A pipeline that is laid on the seabed or below it inside a trench

Diving medium[edit]

  • Underwater environment – The aquatic or submarine environment
    • Fresh water – Naturally occurring water with low amounts of dissolved salts
    • Seawater – Water from a sea or ocean
    • Brackish water – Water with salinity between freshwater and seawater
    • 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 – A heavy fraction obtained from petroleum distillation that is burned to generate power

Other[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]