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In the last several years, Maud van den Beuken followed both the Kaveri River in India on foot and the Mississippi River in the United States by boat.

While the Kaveri River has dried out completely, the water level of the Mississippi River continues to rise. These two rivers run on the exact opposite sides of the Earth, and present completely different volume and conservation patterns. Van den Beuken was intent on documenting these vastly different rivers.

Last year she focused specifically on the Mississippi River. Maud collaborated with Wim Balvert, an electrical engineer and Survey Workshop Manager at Van Oord. To round out the research, R2Sonic outfitted Van den Beuken with the Sonic 2020. This sonar is small, light and low power, making it an ideal instrument for mapping and documenting the Mississippi riverbed on a small vessel.

Van den Beuken and Balvert travelled to the river source, Lake Itasca, in northern Minnesota. From Lake Itasca, the Mississippi flows 2,320 miles (3,730 km), to the river delta in the Gulf of Mexico. Using the Sonic 2020, they set out with the ambitious goal to measure the depths of the entirety of the river, and using the MBES technology, to create a 3D model of the Mississippi riverbed.

At the start of the trip, Paulien van Griethuijzen, engineer at Van Oord, helped by delivering Van den Beuken a speed course on how to use the surveying software.  She, then helped process the survey data.

The Result

With the R2Sonic data and help from her collaborators on how to interpret the data, Van den Beuken’s mapping project became art.

Van den Beuken has completed her journey and her project:

“I’m very pleased to present One to One (Mississippi River), a 1:1 duplicate of one of the largest and well-known rivers in the world, the Mississippi River from shore to shore, to you in the 2020 Prospects & Concepts exhibition at Art Rotterdam.

I would like to thank R2Sonic for their willingness to let us use their sonar devices and Fugro Marinestar for lending their satellite signal, the Mondriaan Fund, Van Oord, Fugro Marinestar and Fonds Kwadraat.”