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INFOMAR Releases New High-Resolution Data for the Irish Shelf and Offshore

9th October 2023
A sample of updated 2m gridded bathymetry surfaces of Tramore Bay derived from INFOMAR data
A sample of updated 2m gridded bathymetry surfaces of Tramore Bay derived from INFOMAR data

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.” Team

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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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