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Irish 'Underwater Atlas' Launched at Geoscience Event

3rd November 2010
Irish 'Underwater Atlas' Launched at Geoscience Event

Following the publication of 'The Real Map of Ireland', showing a three-dimensional overview of Ireland's seabed territory, earlier this year comes 'The Real Atlas' – a detailed compilation of stunning three-dimensional imagery featuring the submarine canyons, underwater mountains and abyssal plains that make up Ireland's seabed territory, an area ten times that of our land mass.

This publication, Atlas of the Deep Water Seabed, Ireland was unveiled today (Wednesday 3rdth November) by Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Conor Lenihan, T.D. at the Geoscience 2010 conference in Dublin Castle. It has been compiled by University College, Cork from data gathered as part of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and INFOMAR inshore seabed survey undertaken by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) the Marine Institute and partners,

Speaking at the opening of the event Minister Lenihan said, "This is the first such Atlas of its kind world-wide, reflecting our leading role in this field. It will be a valuable resource as we seek to utilise our vast ocean resources in the years ahead. As we develop ocean energy, offshore wind and further oil and gas prospecting, an accurate map of the deep seabed will be vital."

The first day of the conference focused on what has been described by European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn as one of the "grand challenges for the 21st Century" – the seas and oceans. It featured detailed papers on seabed mapping, deepwater coral reefs, deepwater remotely operated vehicles and a virtual computer simulation of Galway Bay.

3D image of the 300 km-long Gollum Channel system off the Porcupine Seabight, extending from the edge of the Seabight right down to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain.Image by B. Dorschel with kind permission from Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

First day speakers from the Marine Institute included Fabio Sacchetti, who described the mapping of the Rockall Trough, and Tommy Furey who discussed the value of seabed mapping projects to a wide variety of marine industries. The first day's proceedings also included a paper by Dr Colm Lordan of the Marine Institute's Fisheries Science Services team on the value of the INFOMAR seabed survey to the Irish fishing industry, and an important paper by the Marine Institute's Director of Strategic Planning and Development Services, Yvonne Shields entitled "Irish Marine research in the Bigger Picture."

The second day of the conference, will focus on more terrestrial themes includes papers on new findings in relation to Irish offshore basins from researchers at UCD.

Full details of the event, including the programme of speakers, are available from:

http://www.gsi.ie/Geoscience+Initiatives/Geoscience+2010+Conference.htm

Atlas of the Deep Water Seabed, Ireland can be ordered directly from amazon.co.uk at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Atlas+of+the+Deep+Water+Seabed%2C+Ireland&x=18&y=19

 

Published in Marine Science
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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