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Displaying items by tag: Seabed Mapping

Explore the depths of Dublin Bay, from Killiney to Howth, in remarkable detail thanks to a new addition to INFOMAR’s Bluescale Map Series.

As previously reported on, the collection when complete will comprise 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps highlighting the topography of Ireland’s coastal waters in unprecedented detail.

The newest high-resolution map highlights the unique and intricate landscapes that lie beneath the waves of Ireland’s capital, from Ireland’s Eye to Dalkey Island.

Co Dublin has a coastline of approximately 170km and showcases some of the Ireland’s most unique coastal landscapes. The latest in the new map series is the bluescale bathymetric map of Dublin Bay, which reveals the iconic Irish Sea and complex sandbanks across the capital’s coastline.

Dublin Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea on Ireland’s east coast, spanning approximately 10km wide at its base and 7km in length from Howth Head to Dalkey Island.

Detail of Howth Head on the north side of Dublin Bay, highlighting some of the numerous shipwrecks mapped by INFOMAR in the Irish Sea | Credit: INFOMARDetail of Howth Head on the north side of Dublin Bay, highlighting some of the numerous shipwrecks mapped by INFOMAR in the Irish Sea | Credit: INFOMAR

The bay encompasses notable features such as North Bull Island, housing a 5km sandy beach known as Dollymount Strand and an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve.

Dublin Bay once had two inshore sand banks, the North Bull and the South Bull; the construction of the Bull Wall resulted in the rapid formation of North Bull Island, while the Great South Wall failed to create an island, leaving the South Bull as mud flats and strand.

Offshore, there are additional sandbanks, including Kish Bank with its lighthouse. 135 Clontarf or Mud Island, previously depicted on maps, has since disappeared.

INFOMAR is making this and all other maps in the Bluescale Map Series available for free to the public to download in high resolution JPEG format. Follow the journey each week until mid December as a new map is released on the INFOMAR website and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Published in Environment

See the iconic Wexford coastline, from Hook Head to Carnsore Point, in remarkable detail thanks to a new series of maps added to INFOMAR’s Bluescale Map Series.

As previously reported on, the collection will comprise 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps highlighting the topography of Ireland’s coastal waters in unprecedented detail.

The latest high-resolution maps, charting the area from Rosslare Harbour to Cahore Point, highlight the unique and intricate landscapes that lie beneath the waves.

Co Wexford has a coastline of some 273km and showcases some of the Ireland’s most unique coastal landscapes.

The first of the Model County maps, released on Friday 3 November, is the Bluescale bathymetric map of Hook Head.

Historically called Rindowan, Hook Head is a headland on the east side of the estuary of The Three Sisters (Rivers Nore, Suir and Barrow). It is part of the Hook Peninsula and is adjacent to the historic townland of Loftus Hall.

This area is the location of Hook Lighthouse, the oldest working lighthouse in the world and one of 70 lighthouses operated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights around the coast of Ireland, playing a vital role in maritime safety.

The Hook Peninsula is composed of many rock types including sedimentary limestone and sandstone. The outcrops around Hook Head consist of abundant exposures of Lower Carboniferous rocks in foreshore platforms, containing beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, bivalves, corals and brachiopods.

An excerpt from the bluescale map of Carnsore Point and environs in Co Wexford that will be released by INFOMAR on Friday 10 NovemberAn excerpt from the bluescale map of Carnsore Point and environs in Co Wexford that will be released by INFOMAR on Friday 10 November

Next Friday (10 November) the second Model County map, of Carnsore Point, will be made available.

Carnsore Point is marks the southernmost point of the Irish Sea, on the western side of St George’s Channel. A large, offshore area wrapped around the point is a Marine Protected Area (MPA) for its reefs and species-rich underwater life.

The intertidal and offshore reefs are formed of Carnsore granite, a coarse pinkish-brown rock, and range from very exposed to moderately exposed to wave action. In water at depths of 11-30m there are excellent examples of sea squirt communities. Intricate sandbanks lie due east of the headland and north into the Irish Sea.

Since 2006, INFOMAR’s seabed mapping efforts have been instrumental in enhancing our understanding of Ireland's underwater landscape.

The Bluescale Map series offers a new and unique way not only to showcase the mapping effort to date, but also to visualise and communicate complex scientific information to the wider public.

As with all INFOMAR data, these high-resolution maps are available for free to download and have huge potential to communicate with local coastal communities and raise awareness on the importance of maintaining the health and integrity of our marine environment.

INFOMAR is making all 18 maps available for free to the public to download in high resolution JPEG format. Follow the journey each week until mid December as a new map is released on the INFOMAR website and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Published in Coastal Notes

INFOMAR, Ireland’s national seabed mapping programme, has released its latest data update which encompasses essential enhancements including higher resolution data of the Irish continental shelf and offshore areas.

“This valuable update marks a significant stride in providing comprehensive and up-to-date information on Ireland’s seabed, crucial for various marine-related activities, including navigation, resource management, offshore renewable energy and environmental conservation,” said Thomas Furey, joint programme manager at the Marine Institute.

Key highlights of the latest INFOMAR data release include:

  • 2m Survey Leg Data: The inclusion of newly derived 2m survey leg data offers increased availability for the Irish inshore, with planned regular updates during the coming months.
  • Merged Surfaces (Bathymetry): INFOMAR now provides merged bathymetric surfaces at 5m, 10m and 25m resolutions for the Irish Shelf (0-200m water depth). 25m and 100m Resolution data is also available for the Irish Offshore (>200m water depth).
  • Merged Surfaces (Backscatter): A single, homogenised backscatter surface at 40m resolution is available for the offshore, with 10m resolution available for inshore areas.

All bathymetric and backscatter datasets are now available in a three-star open standard format which improves user access across all GIS environments. All data is available for download or via a data request through INFOMAR’s data download portal.

INFOMAR has also updated various facets of its website to include new vector data, imagery, standard operating procedures and value-added products.

Sean Cullen, joint programme manager at the Geological Survey Ireland said: “INFOMAR [is] committed to providing accurate, accessible and up-to-date marine data to support Ireland’s maritime stakeholders. INFOMAR encourages users to explore and utilise this data for scientific research, maritime planning and decision-making processes.”

Published in Marine Science
Tagged under

INFOMAR has launched its Bluescale Map Series — a collection that will comprise 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps highlighting the topography of Ireland’s coastal waters in unprecedented detail.

The series is the culmination of over a decade of work and highlights the intricate landscapes that lie beneath the waves.

Developed by a dedicated team of hydrographers, data processors and cartographers, each map is carefully drawn to include the latest high-resolution INFOMAR bathymetry data.

From this week until mid December, INFOMAR will be releasing a new map of a different section of Ireland’s 3,171km coastline, which boasts some of the most unique and dynamic environments in Europe, to download for free.

The first in the series is the bluescale bathymetric map of Galway Bay. Follow the journey each week as a new map is released on the INFOMAR website and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

In 2006, the INFOMAR (Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource) programme was established and is currently one of the world’s largest and leading seabed mapping programmes.

Funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the programme is a joint venture by the Marine Institute and Geological Survey Ireland and aims to map Ireland’s seabed and deliver a comprehensive baseline bathymetry dataset to underpin the future management of Ireland’s marine resource.

Published in Environment

The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport advises that the Informing and Mapping the Offshore Renewable Environment (I-MORE) Survey will be carried out in the North Irish Sea from early in the New Year.

From 4-13 January 2022, the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) will carry out the survey on a 24-hour schedule using the Manta–200 Seabed Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) system.

The aim of this survey is to gather critical seabed data to feed into existing postdoc and group research across a range of disciplines, including marine geotechnics and physical geology, to better understand the geology and engineering properties of the sediment in this area and to identify potential geohazards to infrastructure development.

Map of the proposed iMORE survey areaMap of the proposed iMORE survey area

Coodinates of the survey area and other details can be found in Marine Notice No 66 of 2021, available to download below.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - The extensive work carried out jointly by the Marine Institute and Geological Survey Ireland through the INFOMAR programme received substantial exposure and recognition at the 16th Forum for the Exchange of Mutual Multibeam Experiences (FEMME) in Bordeaux last week.

Hosted by the Kongsberg Maritime User Forum and focussing on seabed mapping, FEMME provides an international platform for hydrographic professionals to meet, exchange experiences and ideas, provide inspiration and contribute to improved system performance and the future of underwater mapping technologies.

High-profile attendees include the secretary general of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), chief hydrographers from the Service Hydrographique et Océanographique de la Marine (SHOM), and Seabed 2030 leaders.

An overview of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment-funded INFOMAR programme was provided by Dr Fabio Sacchetti, who updated the audience on future plans as well as recent achievements of the Irish national seabed mapping initiative.

Dr Sacchetti highlighted 10 case studies featuring multiple applications of multibeam technologies in support of sectors including coastal engineering, marine conservation and marine heritage and tourism.

In addition, a recent high-profile collaboration between INFOMAR and various US and Canadian research institutes was presented by international research partners in attendance.

INFOMAR featured prominently in a talk by Prof John Hughes Clarke (CCOM/University of New Hampshire) when describing research into the impact of internal wave activity on multibeam bathymetry in an Irish/Celtic Sea context, based on work conducted onboard the RV Celtic Explorer.

Prof Clarke has been collaborating with INFOMAR since 2015, and he is particularly focused on using hydrographic and fisheries sonar systems, combined with oceanographic data, to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics and complexities of the Celtic Sea.

Jose Cordero, of Instituto Hidrografico dela Marina (Spain), demonstrated how improved sound speed control through remotely detecting thermocline undulations can be achieved.

The study was the result of a collaboration carried out in 2017 onboard the RV Celtic Explorer during a routine INFOMAR survey.

Finally, Anand D Hiroji (HSRC/University of Southern Mississippi) showed how unambiguous radiation pattern extraction methods can improve data derived from multisector multibeam Sonars. Once again, this study was carried out using data acquired by INFOMAR onboard the RV Celtic Explorer.

As Ireland continues toward completion of its seabed mapping programme in 2026, the Marine Institute says it is “widely acknowledged internationally” that our best practice approach towards open and integrated data acquisition, integration and exploitation “is a valued model, and one which gives Irish researchers and technology developers a global audience, and market.”

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - The Marine Institute has welcomed commitments of €6 million in funding for seabed mapping and marine research announced at the fourth Our Ocean Conference in Malta last week.

Ciaran Cannon, Minister of State for International Development, addressed representatives from more than 200 countries at the EU conference, stressing the importance of promoting and protecting the world's marine resources for present and future generations.

Aside from the new funding for mapping and research, Minister Cannon also announced the roll-out of a 'groundbreaking' Global Citizenship marine environment education module for school children from September 2017 onwards.

“This programme will increase ocean literacy by fostering understanding of the important role our oceans play in our lives, how individual actions can affect them and how we can act together to protect them,” he said.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan explained that the new module supports the aims of the institute’s own Explorers Education Programme “to build on Ireland's marine and maritime heritage by increasing awareness of the value, opportunities and social benefits of our ocean wealth and identity.”

Meanwhile, Minister Cannon committed to €320,000 in funding to the 2017 Clean Coasts programme and its more than 550 volunteer groups established in Ireland to date.

Also noted was an expansion of the 2015 Fishing for Litter programme, and continued contributions to support developing countries engagement at the UN on issues relating to marine governance.

In addition, Minister Cannon reaffirmed Ireland's commitment to prohibit the sale or manufacture of certain products containing microbeads, announced at the UN in June of this year.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineNotice - Mariners of the South Coast are advised that PSE Kinsale Energy will undertake a seabed mapping survey in the Kinsale Head and Seven Heads Gas Fields next week.

The survey is expected to begin on Monday 12 June and last for five or six days, subject to weather conditions.

The multi-beam mapping survey is to confirm the seabed status adjacent to subsea gas production infrastructure such as wellheads, manifolds and jacket/platform structures, collecting data for ongoing field maintenance operations and future planning.

The RV Celtic Voyager (Callsign EIQN) is scheduled to carry out the survey operations at specific locations to assess the status of the subsea infrastructure in relation to the adjacent seabed. A total of 15 multi-beam mapping locations are anticipated.

There will be a regular safety message broadcasting on VHF Channel 16 throughout the project. All vessels, particularly those engaged in fishing, are requested to give the RV Celtic
Voyager a wide berth and keep a sharp lookout in the relevant areas.

Full details of the survey area are included in Marine Notice No 24 of 2017, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in News Update

#MarineScience - The Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Voyager returned to Cork Harbour last week after the first of six INFOMAR seabed mapping surveys planned for 2017.

The two-week seabed survey carried out its operations in the Celtic Sea south of the Waterford and Wexford coastlines.

The research team — involving geophysicists, geologists, marine biologists and data processors Kevin Sheehan, David O'Sullivan, Oisin McManus, Nicola O'Brien and Michael Arrigan — were tasked to accurately map the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed area.

INFOMAR survey operations are conducted by a fleet of research vessels — including the RV Celtic Voyager, which is used for mapping seabed terrain in water depths between 20m and 100m.

The vessels are equipped with advanced mapping technologies including state-of-the-art acoustic sonars, geophysical instrumentation and ground-truthing capabilities, as well as geophysical equipment and precise satellite positioning.

“This helps to ensure data collection is of the highest possible quality across a wide range of water depths, conditions and environments, providing us with full coverage mapping of the shape and type of the seabed below,” says David O'Sullivan.

The INFOMAR survey around Ireland is one of the largest civilian seabed mapping projects in the world and aims to gather high resolution seabed data that contributes to the sustainable development of Ireland's marine resource.

As an island nation, Ireland is responsible for the sustainable management of its marine resources and it is important that accurate seabed maps are created to enable effective governance.

“Gathering up-to-date information about our ocean is cognisant of ensuring we have the best available science and knowledge to inform decisions affecting our ocean, particularly in relation to fisheries management and the development of ocean energy,” added O’Sullivan.

The INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland's MArine Resource (INFOMAR) programme is a joint venture between the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute, funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Published in Marine Science

#INFOMAR - Galway’s Marine Institute hosts the 2016 Seminar for INFOMAR – Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource – next Wednesday 19 October.

With a focus on ‘collectively creating an INFOMAR legacy’, the free day-long event will look back on the development and impact of seabed mapping in Ireland, as well as plans for completion of the coastal and shelf-mapping project, and optimising the use and value of knowledge gained from mapping data.

The morning’s two main sessions include a ‘birds eye view’ of mapping the seas of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, and exploring the latest mapping technology for coastal development and management.

Afternoon presentations will also look at INFOMAR’s role the in energy, infrastructure, environment and education sectors.

The full seminar agenda is online, and free registration is available HERE.

Published in Marine Science
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