List of diving environments by type

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

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

  • Index of recreational dive sites  Alphabetical listing of popular places for underwater diving
  • Inland dive sites – Dive sites in bodies of water other than the sea
  • Coastal dive sites – Dive sites near a coast of the body of water
  • Coral reef  Outcrop of rock in the sea formed by the growth and deposit of stony coral skeletons
  • Wreck diving  Recreational diving on wrecks
  • Cave diving  Underwater diving in water-filled caves
  • Quarry dive sites  Disused and flooded quarry repurposed for underwater diving
  • Lake  A body of relatively still water, in a basin surrounded by land

Diver training sites

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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
    • Blue-water diving  Underwater diving in mid-water where the bottom is not visible and is out of diving range
    • Black-water diving  Open ocean mid-water diving at night
  • 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

  • Blue-water diving  Underwater diving in mid-water where the bottom is not visible and is out of diving range
  • Low visibility diving
  • Night diving  Underwater diving during the hours of darkness
    • Black-water diving  Open ocean mid-water diving at night
  • Silt out  Reduction of underwater visibility by disturbing silt deposits

Environments by hazard

  • 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

  • Diving in hot water – Water that is hot enough to require measures to keep the diver cool.
  • Diving in warm water – Water at temperatures where no thermal protection is necessary.
  • Diving in cold water – Water where heat loss is a critical hazard. Arbitrarily specified at below 10°C for some training standards (Dive leader)
  • Diving in freezing water – Water where surface layers are at or very near freezing point.

Environments by geography

  • Tropical diving – Diving in tropical waters
  • Temperate water diving – Diving in temperate waters
  • Polar diving - Diving in polar waters
  • Altitude diving  Underwater diving at altitudes above 300 m
  • Cave diving  Underwater diving in water-filled caves
  • Inland diving – Diving in waters inland of the coastal high water mark.
  • Inshore diving - Diving in coastal territorial waters
  • Offshore diving  Diving outside the territorial waters of a country
  • Open ocean diving  Diving in deep water out of sight of land

Environments by topography

  • 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 – Away from any fixed solid reference points.
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

See also


References

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