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Published: February 19, 2022

Abbreviations used in Nautical Charts

what are the abbreviations used in Nautical Charts (Admiralty Charts / Maritime Charts)

Bottom Characteristics and Abbreviations

Nouns SourceChart
 NounAbbreviationAbbreviation
 BouldersBldsBlds
 ClayClCy
 CoralCoCo
 CoralheadCl HdCl Hd
 GravelGG
 GrassGrsGrs
 MudMM
 OozeOzOz
 PebblesPP
 SandSS
 ShellsShSh
 ShingleSnSn
 SiltSiltS i
 StonesStSt
 SeaweedWdWd
Adjectives  Adjective Broken Coarse Dark Fine Gritty Hard Large Light Rocky Small Soft Speckled StickySource Abbreviation brk crs dk fne gty hrd lrg lt rky sml sft spk stkChart Abbreviation bk c dk f gty h lrg lt rky sml so spk sy
Colors  Color Black Blue Brown Gray Green Orange Red White Violet Yellow  Abbreviation bl bu br gy gn or rd wh vi yl 

SOURCE: Nautical Chart Manual

(by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Ocean Service)

INDEX OF ABBREVIATIONS

(Section V of Chart No. 1)

Abbreviation …….. Meaning…………………………… Symbol


Abbreviations and Terms used on Paper and Electronic Navigational Charts

Index of Abbreviations

(Note – INT abbreviations are in bold type)

A BrBreakersK 17 CorpCorporationE v
abt                      AboutD ibrBrownJ az covCoversL 21.2
Accom                Accommodation vesselL 17brgBearingB 62 cpsCycles per secondB j
AERO, Aero        Aeronautical lightP 60–61.1brkBrokenJ 33 CrCreek 
Aero R BnAeronautical radiobeaconS 16   CRDColumbia River DatumH j
Aero RC AISAeronautical radiobeacon $XWRPDWiF ,GHQWifiFDWiRQ 6\VWHPS 16 S 17.1–17.2Bu C CBlue     Can, cylindricalP 11.4     Q 21crs c/sCoarse Cycles per secondJ 32 B j
AlAlternatingP 10.11CCape CswyCausewayF 3
ALCArticulated Load ColumnL 12CCove Ct HoCourthouseE o
AmAmberP 11.8 cCoarseJ 32CupCupolaE 10.4
ancAncient  Ca, caCalcareousJ 38Cus HoCustoms houseF 61
ANCH, AnchAnchorageN 20 CALM&DWHQDU\ $QFKRU /HJ 0RRUiQJL 16&\&OD\J 3
ANT, AntAntennaE 31 CapCapitolE tD  
approxApproximate  CasCastleE 34.2DDestroyed 
ApprsApproaches  CbCobblesJ 8decDecayedJ an
AprApril  cblCableB 46DecDecember 
AptApartmentE s cdCandelaB 54DegDegree(s)B n
ArchArchipelago  CemCemeteryE 19DestrDestroyed 
ASLArchipelagic Sea LaneM 17 CGCoast Guard stationT 10devDeviationB 67
ATBAArea To Be AvoidedM 29.1 ChChocolateJ baDFDirection Finder 
AugAugust  ChChurchE 10.1DGDegaussing RangeN 25, Q 54
authAuthorizedK 46.2 ChanChannel DGPSDifferential Global PositioningS 51
AveAvenueChemChemical

                                       L 40.1–40.2

CHY, &K\, &K\V   &KiPQH\(V)                                 E 22

B                        Bay, bayou

Cir Ck

Cirripedia Chalk

J ae J f

Bdy Mon Boundary mark (monument) B 24 Bk Bank   bk Black J as bk Broken J 33 Bkw Breakwater F 4.1 bl Black J as BM Bench Mark B 23    
    6\VWHP   Di Diatoms J aa DIA, Dia Diaphone R 11 Dir Direction light P 30–31    

CL                      Clearance                                      D 20–21, 26, 28

Discol dist

Discolored                                     K e

Distant

Cl                       Clay                                              J 3                        dk                                                 Dark                     J bd

cm                      Centimeter(s)                                B 43                       dm                                               Decimeter(s)         B 42

Cn                      Cinders                                         J p                        Dn, Dns                    Dolphin(s)                                    F 20

Co                      Company                                       E u                        Dol                                               Dolphin(s)              F 20

DW Deep Water Route M 27.1,                                                                                                     DZ   Danger Zone N 12.4 Q 50 E     E East B 10    

Co                      Coralline Algae                             J 10, K 16

Co Hd                 Coral Head                                    J i

Bn, Bns

Beacon(s)

M 2, P 4–5,                                                                                                            

BnTr, BnTrs Bo

Bol

Beacon tower(s) Boulder(s) Bollard

Q 80–81

P 3, Q 110

J 9.2

Co rf COLREGS

Consol

Coral reef

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

Consol Beacon

N a

S 13                      ED

Existence Doubtful                       I 1

constr                 Construction                                  F 32                       EEZ                                              Exclusive Economic Zone                   N 47

EntrEntrance  glacGlacialJ ap InInlet 
ESSAEnvironmentally Sensitive Sea AreaN 22 gnGreenJ av in, insInch(es)B c
EstEstuary  Govt HoGovernment HouseE m InstInstituteE n
experExperimental  Gp Fl*URXS flDVKiQJP 10.4 INTInternationalA 2, T 21
ExplosExplosiveR 10 Gp OcGroup occultingP 10.2 Intens,QWHQVifiHGP 46
Exting, extingExtinguishedP 55 GPS*OREDO 3RViWiRQiQJ 6\VWHP  IQInterrupted quickP 10.6
F f  Fine  J 30 Grd GrsGround GrassJ a J v ISLW IsoIndian Spring Low Water IsophaseH g P 10.3
F Fl)i[HG DQG flDVKiQJP 10.10 grtGross Register Tonnage  ITZIQVKRUH 7UDIfiF =RQHM 25.1
F Gp FlFixed and Group FlashingP d GTGross Tonnage  IUQInterrupted ultra quickP 10.8
FactyFactoryE d gtyGrittyJ am ,94,QWHUUXSWHG YHU\ TXiFNP 10.7
FADFish Aggregating Device  gyGrayJ bb J  
FdFjord  H   JanJanuary 

FISH                   Fishing                                          N 21                     H                        Helicopter                                    T 1.4                      Jul                                                July

FlFlashingP 10.4hHardJ 39 JunJune 
fl FlaFlood Flare stackH q L 11h HATHour Highest Astronomical TideB 49 H 3 K K  Kelp  J u
fl\FlintyJ aoHbr MrHarbormasterF 60 kcKilocycleB k
fm, fmsFathom(s)B 48HHWHigher High WaterH b kHzKilohertzB h
fneFineJ 30HkHulkF 34, K 20–21 kmKilometer(s)B 40
Fog Det LtFog detector lightP 62HoHouse  knKnot(s)B 52
Fog SigFog SignalR 1hor+RUi]RQWDOO\ GiVSRVHGP 15 L  
FPFlagpoleE 27Hor CLHorizontal clearanceD 21 LLake, loch, lough 
FPSOFloating Production, Storage DQG 2IflRDGiQJ 9HVVHOL 17Hosp hrHospital HourE g, F 62.2 B 49 L Fl La/RQJ-flDVKiQJ LavaP 10.5 J l
Fr Fs, FS Fsh stksForaminifera Flagstaff Fishing stakesJ y E 27 K 44.1hrd ht HWHard Height High WaterJ 39 H p H a Lag LANBYLagoon Large Automatic Navigational %XR\    Pf
FT, ftFoot, FeetB 47, D 20HWF&CHigh Water Full & ChangeH h LASHLighter Aboard Ship 
FuFucusJ afHzHertzB g LATLowest Astronomical TideH 2
G      LatLatitudeB 1
GGravelJ 6IALAInternational Association ofQ 130 LdgLandingF 17
GGreenP 11.3, Q 2 Lighthouse Authorities*  LdgLeading LightsP 20.3

G                        Gulf                                                                          IHO                    International Hydrographic        Le                                                                             Ledge

GAB, Gab            Gable                                            E i

GCLWD              Gulf Coast Low Water Datum           H k Gl     Globigerina J z

Organization

illum                    Illuminated                                     P 63

IMO                    International Maritime Organization

LLW                    Lower Low Water                            H e

Lndg                  Landing for boats                         F 17

LNG                   /iTXifiHG 1DWXUDO *DV

*Now known as the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities. The organization, formerly called the

International Association of Lighthouse Authorities/Association Internationale de Signalisation Maritime (IALA/AISM), continues to use IALA as an abbreviation for its full name.

LoLoLoad-on, Load-off  MLWMean Low WaterH 4OccasOccasionalP 50
LongLongitudeB 2 MLWNMean Low Water NeapsH 10OctOctober 
LPG/iTXifiHG 3HWUROHXP *DV  MLWSMean Low Water SpringsH 8ODAS2FHDQ DDWD $FTXiViWiRQ 6\VWHPQ 58
LrgLargeJ a mmMillimeter(s)B 44OrOrangeP 11.7
LS SLife saving stationT 12 MnManganeseJ qOVHDOverheadD 28
ltLightJ bc MoMorse CodeP 10.9, R 20OysOystersJ r
Lt HoLight houseP1 MON, MonMonumentE 24P  
Lt, Lt(s) Light(s) P 1   MR Marine Reserve N 22   P Pebbles J 7 Ltd Limited E r   MRCC Maritime Rescue and     P Pillar Q 23 LW LWD LWF&C M M Low Water Low Water Datum Low Water Full and Change     0XG, PXGG\ H c H d H i   J 2     Ms MSL Mt Mth Coordination Center Mussels Mean Sea Level Mountain, Mount Mouth   J s H 6   (P) PA Pass Pav PD Preliminary (NTM) Position approximate Passage, Pass Pavilion Position doubtful     B 7   E p B 8         MTL N Mean Tide Level H 1         M m Nautical mile(s) Medium (in relation to sand) B 45 J 31       Pk PLT STA Peak Pilot station   T3 m m Ma Meter(s) Minute(s) of time Mattes B 41 B 50 J ag   N N NE North Nun Northeast B 9 Q 20 B 13   Pm PO Po Pumice 3RVW RIfiFH Polyzoa J m F 63 J ad mag Magnetic B 61   NGA National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency     pos, posn Position   Magz Magazine E l   NM Nautical miles(s) B 45   Post Off 3RVW RIfiFH F 63                       Maintd Maintained P 65   NMi Nautical mile(s) B 45   Priv, priv Private P 65, Q 70 man 0DQXDOO\ DFWiYDWHG P 56, R 2   No Number N 12.2   Prod well Production well L 20                       Mar March     NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric     PROHIB Prohibited N 2.2 Mc Megacycles B l     Administration     PSSA 3DUWiFXODUO\ 6HQViWiYH 6HD $UHD N 22 Mds Madrepores J j   NOS National Ocean Service     Pt Pteropods J ac MHHW Mean Higher High Water H 13   Nov November     3\O 3\ORQ D 26 MHLW Mean Higher Low Water H 14   Np Neap tide H 17   Q     MHW Mean High Water H 5   NT Net Tonnage     Q Quick P 10.6 MHWN Mean High Water Neaps H 11   NTM Notice to Mariners     QTG Service producing DF signals S 15 MHWS Mean High Water Springs H9   NW Northwest B 15   Quar Quarantine F e Mi min Nautical mile(s) Minimum B 45 K 46.2   NWS SIG STA National Weather Service signal station T 29   Qz R Quartz J g min Mk Minute(s) of time Mark B 50 Q 101   O Obs Spot       R Coast radio station providing QTC service S 15 Observation spot B 21       Ml Marl J c   OBSC, Obscd Obscured P 43   R Radio Station S 15 MLHW MLLW Mean Lower High Water Mean Lower Low Water H 15 H 12   Obstn Oc Obstruction Occulting K41 P 10.2   R R, r Red 5RFN, 5RFN\ P 11.2 J 9.1, K b    
R BnCircular radiobeaconS 10SBM6iQJOH %XR\ 0RRUiQJL 16STA, StaStationF 41.1, S 15,
R LtsAir obstruction lightsP 61.2ScScannerE 30.3  T 3
R MastRadio mastE 28ScScoriaeJ ostfStiffJ 36
R StaRadio StationS 15SchSchistJ hStgSea-tangleJ w
R TowerRadio towerE 29SchSchoolE fstkStickyJ 34
R TR, R TrRadio towerE 29SDSailing Directions StrStrait 
RaRadarM 31–32, S 1SdSound StrStreamH I
RaRadar reference lineM 32.1SDSounding doubtfulI 2strStreakyJ ak
Ra (conspic)Radar conspicuous pointS 5SESoutheastB 14subSubmarineK d
Ra Ref5DGDU UHflHFWRUS 4secSeconds of timeB 51SubmSubmergedK 43.1
Racon Radar ScRadar transponder beacon Radar scannerS 3 E 30.3Sep sfSeptember Stiff    J 36SW V\Southwest 6WiFN\B 16 J 34
Radar Tr,Radar towerE 30.2sftSoftJ 35T  
RADAR TR Ramark  Radar marker beacon  S 2Sg ShSeagrass ShellsJ 13.3 J 11T TShort ton(s) TelephoneB m E q
RCCircular radiobeaconS 10ShlShoal TTRUEB 63
RDDirectional radiobeaconS 11SiSiltJ 4TTufaJ n
Rd RdRadiolaria Road, roadsteadJ abSig Sig StaSignal Signal stationR 1, T 25.2 T 20t TelTon(s), Tonnage (weight) TelegraphB 53, F 53 D 27
rdRedJ ayS-L FlShort-Long FlashingP bTel off7HOHJUDSK RIfiFHE k
RDF5DGiR GiUHFWiRQ fiQGiQJ VWDWiRQS 14S/MSand over mudJ 12.1Temp, temp7HPSRUDU\P 54
RefRefugeQ 124smlSmallJ ahtenTenaciousJ aq
RepReportedI 3SMtSeamount TkTankE 32
RfReef SnShingleJ dTR, Tr, TrsTower(s)E 10.2, E 20
RG5DGiR GiUHFWiRQ fiQGiQJ VWDWiRQS 14soSoftJ 35TSS7UDIfiF 6HSDUDWiRQ 6FKHPHM 20.1
RkRocksJ 9.1, K bSpChurch spireE 10.3TTTree topsC 14
RkyRockyJ 9.1SPSphericalQ 22TV MastTelevision mastE 28
RoRo   rt Ru, (ru)5ROO-RQ, 5ROO-RII )HUU\ (5R5R Terminal) Rotten Ruin, ruinedF 50   J aj D 8, E 25.2, F 33Sp Sp Spg Spispire Spring tide Sponge SpiculesE 10.3 H 16 J t J xTV Tower U ULCC UncovTelevision tower     Ultra Large Crude Carrier UncoversE 29       K 11
         
RWRotating-pattern radiobeaconS 12Spipe, S’pipeStandpipeE 21unevUnevenJ bf
         
S  spkSpeckledJ alUnivUniversityE h
         
SSandJ 1SPMSingle Point MooringL 12UQUltra quickP 10.8
         
SSouthB 11SSSignal stationT 20–36UTCCoordinated Universal Time 
         
SSpar, spindleQ 24StStonesJ 5UTMUniversal Transverse Mercator
sSecond(s) of timeB 51, P 12St M, St MiStatute mile(s)B e9  
SALMSingle Anchor Leg MooringL 12   v9ROFDQiFJ 37
  114        
var, VARVariationB 60
vardVariedJ be
velVelocityH n
vert9HUWiFDOO\ GiVSRVHGP 15
Vert CLVertical clearanceD 20, 28
9i9iROHWP 11.5
VilVillageD 4
9/&&9HU\ /DUJH &UXGH &DUUiHUG 187
volVolcanic, VolcanoJ 37
Vol AshVolcanic ashJ k
949HU\ TXiFNP 10.7
9769HVVHO 7UDIfiF 6HUYiFH 
W  
WWestB 12
WWhiteP 11.1
WdWeedJ 13.1
WellWellheadL 21
WGS:RUOG *HRGHWiF 6\VWHPS 50
WhWhiteJ ar
WhfWharfF 13
WHIS, WhisWhistleR 15
Wk, WksWreck(s)K 20
Wtr Tr, WTR TRWater towerE 21
Y  
YYellow, Orange, AmberP 11.6–11.8
yd, ydsYard(s)B d
ylYellowJ aw
μ  
μs, μsecMicrosecond(s)B f

Example icons of abbreviations and symbols that are used in Marine Charts below:

Abbreviations & Symbols used in Nautical Navigational Charts – conspicuous and non-conspicuous features
Abbreviations & Symbols used in Nautical Navigational Charts – NATURAL FEATURES
Abbreviations & Symbols used in Nautical Navigational Charts – LANDMARKS
Abbreviations & Symbols used in Nautical Navigational Charts – PORTS

see the full document with all the Abbreviations & Symbols used on Nautical Charts at: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/publications/docs/us-chart-1/ChartNo1.pdf

Explanatory Video – what are the abbreviations used in Nautical Charts

VIDEO – How to Read a Nautical Chart

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see also: Glossary of Nautical Charts – terms used in the marine charts industry


see also: the List of Abbreviations used in Nautical Charts


see also: Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms used in Marine Navigational Charts, Paper Nautical Charts (SNCs , RNCs) and Electronic Nautical Charts (ENCs)


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