Marie Agnes Silver mine

An underwater photogrammetry 3d scan of a XVII century silver, lead and zinc mine in Lower Silesia, Poland

What is Marie Agnes?

Marie Agnes is an old silver, lead and zinc mine located in Lower Silesia, Poland (close to German border). It has 3 levels, the 2nd and 3rd are flooded – and those are the ones that are the most interesting for us. Since the excavations were being conducted pretty long time ago (XVIII-XIXth century), there were no explosives used – all tunnels were dug with pickaxes. photogrammetry scan of all 4 corridor levels, along with the 40m deep shaft.

Media and supporters

Poland’s first scan of the flooded mine received a warm reception from the press and the diving community, allowing the Submerged Foundation to be born.


This was the first underwater cave/mine scanning project in Poland and one of the firsts in the world. We were learning on the go.



Amassing such a volume of data necessitates meticulous planning throughout all project phases. Every dive was orchestrated with precision. To allow for interim evaluation of the captured material, the data gathering process was distributed over several days.

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hours of processing

Shooting the pictures of the mine was only teh first step of the project. Aligning the photos and creating the digital reconstruction was the main challenge. Especially difficult, since this was one of the world’s first underwater cave scanning projects, so many trials and errors were necassary.

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hours under water

The process of creating a photogrammetry underwater scan was very slow do tue extremely high amount of narrow passages and the amount of silt in the water. In some areas the camera needed to be held 30 cm from the scanned surface.

The beginning of submerged foundation​

Proving that a single diver can create a scan of a flooded mine, the project not only received an international recognition, but was also led us to an idea of establishing the Submerged Foundation.

The outcomes

Creating a scan of flooded mine is one thing – but how to present it? This was one of many fields where we were learning on the go.

Outcome #1

3d model

The 3d photogrammetry model of the flooded corridors along with the dry chamber has been created and optimized for online viewing on the Sketchfab platform.

Outcome #2

3d renders

The great advantage of working with a 3d model is the possibility to quickly create a cross section along any axis, preserving the photorealistic details.

Outcome #3


The great advantage of working with a 3d model is the possibility to quickly create a cross section along any axis, preserving the photorealistic details.

Outcome #4

Virtual Dive Videos

Thanks to the virtual tour videos you can plan your dive well ahead. 360 videos are coming soon.

Outcome #5


AR lets you place a 3d model in the physical space, using your smartphone. It’s a bit as if you had a scaled Marie Agnes’ model placed on your desk. Only better, because you can go through the walls. In order to try it out, just scan the QR code below. Works on all iPhone and iPads. Supported Android devices are listed here.

Marie Agnes poster @Cave Prints

Outcome #6

UNDERWATER CARTOGRAPHY POSTERS has published a series of cartpgraphic posters, based on the detailed 3d underwater photogrammetry scan. They not only present the site to the smalles details, but also tell the compelling story of this mine.

Marie Agnes poster @Cave Prints
Marie Agnes poster @Cave Prints

The Marie Agnes Project VR APP

The VR experience allows you to fully experience the flooded levels of the mine. It requires an HTC Vive tethered VR device.


The project resulted in quite a few publications in world-wide media and talks on diving and speleology events all over the world.


Even though this was mostly a one man project in terms of diving, the creation of the visual content was a team work of digital professionals.


Marcin Stempniewicz | Submerged Foundation

Project leader, diver, photogrammetry data aquisition, photogrammetry reconstruction

Technical support

Mateusz Zahora | Submerged Foundation

Surface support, technical assistance

Mariusz Milka | Submerged Foundation

Photogrammetry Technical Advisor

Bartosz Przybylski |

Virtual reality advisor, Unreal Engine developer