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Dredging of Waterford Estuary and 3D Seabed-Mapping from the Sea to the City

3rd July 2014
Dredging of Waterford Estuary and 3D Seabed-Mapping from the Sea to the City

#UnderwaterWaterford – Following our port snapshot of Waterford Harbour shipping this morning which included a dredger, INFOMAR takes us on a 3D-fly-through of the estuary (in reverse direction) showing the seabed as its winds its way upriver to the city, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 3D imagery shows (click link, scroll down and enlarge video) the varying depths and channel widths of the shipping lane along Waterford estuary taken from the research vessel, the RV Keary.

As mentioned above this is where a dredging campaign is currently underway, notably for ships using Belview Por, the main terminal facility of the Port of Waterford Company which has contracted WD Mersey (1983/1,696grt) to carry out the work.

Since late last month dredging operations along the estuary has involved the spoil to be dumped south-west off Hook Head.

As for the role of RV Keary this took place in 2011 and was the first INFOMAR survey leg to be carried out by the South African built aluminium constructed catamaran. The survey took two-months to complete and was conducted in preparation to hosting the second Tall Ships Festival held that year.

The seabed survey mapping of RV Keary concentrated on the navigational channel while the surrounding shallower waters were tasked to a smaller RIB based craft, RV Geo. Together this was the first occasion the pair of GSI vessels worked on a survey.

The 15m RV Keary is a state-run marine research survey vessel commissioned for and operated by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI). As reported in 2012, the Central Fisheries Board cutter Cosantoir Bradan was chartered by GSI in an RV role.

The vessels primary function is to provide an inshore survey capability for the national INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland's MArine Resource - in short INFOMAR.

In addition assistance in the INFOMAR programme which is funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, is also made available from the Marine Institute's pair of research vessels, RV Celtic Voyager and larger fleetmate RV Celtic Explorer.

To keep track of GSI vessels current locations, click this map-link.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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