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Latest INFOMAR Bluescale Maps Show Wexford Coastline in Stunning Detail

5th November 2023
An excerpt from the bluescale map of Hook Head and environs in Co Wexford
An excerpt from the bluescale map of Hook Head and environs in Co Wexford Credit: INFOMAR

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. Team

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.