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Waterford
Port Láirge

Overview

Waterford is located in the South-East of Ireland.

The harbour area can be defined from the fishing port of Dunmore East on the west side of the harbour to Hook Head in Co. Wexford to the east. Just inside the mouth of the harbour is Creadan Head, in the lee of which are a series of beaches and tidal flats as far north as Passage East.

Two of the ‘Three Sisters’ (Rivers Barrow and Suir) enter the sea at Waterford Harbour with Waterford city defining the upper limits of the harbour. The third, the River Nore joins the River Barrow further inland.

The sheltered harbour at Waterford is used by shipping and cargo, recreation and fishing vessels and dates back to Viking days in the late 9th century.

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INFOMAR Survey History

Survey coverage has been achieved over a large area of the seabed off the Waterford coast. The RV Celtic Voyager mapped the offshore areas. The harbour was mapped by the RV Keary & RV Geo in advance of the Tallships arriving in 2011. The Bunmahon coastline was mapped by the RV Keary in 2012.

The RV Geo, RV Keary and RV Tonn surveyed the Youghal\Dungarvan area in 2015.

Further surveys offshore were carried out by the Celtic Voyager in 2016.

Read more about some of the survey legs on our Blog by clicking on the links below.

The R.V Keary @ Waterford Tallships Festival 2011

CV10_02 Wexford Waterford and Cork

CV10_03 Cork and Waterford

KRY11_01 Waterford Harbour

KRY12_02 Bunmahon

CV 13 01 South Priority Area

Coverage from the survey legs of Waterford Harbour and coast (Click on image for more detailed map).

Survey Coverage polygons can be downloaded as a shapefile from our Interactive Web Data Delivery System (IWDDS).

Select your area of interest. Vector datasets - Offshore - Offshore Shapefiles

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Bathymetry (Water Depth)

Water depth varies from 0 to 90 m.

Detailed .pdf charts of the bathymetry of Waterford can be downloaded by clicking here

You can download Bathymetry xyz data from IWDDS.

(Data Type: Vector Datasets, Region: Offshore, Theme: Bathymetry (Survey Leg) entire survey leg or Bathymetry (Survey Line) for individual tracklines. Take note of the survey names in INFOMAR Survey History.

You can also download the bathymetry data in ArcGIS GRID format

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Shaded Relief

The 3D appearance is achieved using software called Fledermaus. By using some vertical exaggeration, artificial sun-shading (usually as if there is a light source in the nw 315°) and colouring the depths using various colour maps, it is possible to highlight the subtle relief of the seabed. This helps us to quickly understand the variation in depths. View the 3D Map of Waterford for a more spectactular image.

Shaded relief bathymetry image of the Waterford coast. Depths range from 0 in the yellow colours up to 80m deep in the blue areas. (Click on image for more detailed map)

Detailed MBES shaded relief image of the seabed off Hook Head at the mouth of Waterford Harbour. Interesting features in this area of seabed include the sediment filled channel offshore of the harbour. Shallow seismic data shows that sediment infill is often grater than the 8 metres penetration achieved by the pinger. The nature of the data also indicates that the infill is coarse in nature, perhaps gravel. Also visible is a ridge which runs rougly north to south, southwest of the Hook. The feature is roughly 7.5 km long and is possibly a lateral moraine from glaciers in the last ice age. A similar feature is seen to the east, south of Dunabrattin Head. North of this feature is a smaller channel feature that has been interpreted as a possible continuation of a fault mapped in the onshore geology. (Click on image for more detailed map)

Detailed MBES shaded relief image of the seabed off Brownstown Head, west of the mouth of Waterford Harbour. Evidence for folding and faulting can be found by closer examination of the bedding planes of the rock outcrops. (Click on image for more detailed map)

All of our Charts for Waterford can be downloaded in pdf format from this page.

Download Shaded Relief Bathymetry Geotiffs from our Interactive Web Data Delivery System (IWDDS)

Select your area of interest.Offshore Geotiffs - Bathymetry Shaded Relief Geotiffs.

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Backscatter

Multibeam Systems also collect additional information, including the strength of the acoustic signal (or return) from the seafloor. This is known as Backscatter. Differing seafloor types, such as mud, sand, gravel and rock will have different Backscatter values depending on the amount of energy they return to the sonar head. Rocky areas will typically have high returns while soft sediments like mud are more likely to absorb energy and have low Backscatter returns. These differing values are used to generate a grey-order image (i.e. dark for high returns, bright for low returns) of the seabed which can be used to examine the nature of the seafloor.

Overview backscatter image of the seabed surveyed off the Waterford coast. The dark areas correspond mainly to rock outcrops and the grey areas east of Dungarvan, around the mouth of Waterford Harbour and southeast of the Hook indicate sediment covering the seafloor, probably sand. (Click on image for more detailed map)

Detailed .pdf backscatter charts can be downloaded by clicking here

Download Backscatter Geotiffs from our Interactive Web Data Delivery System (IWDDS)

Select your area of interest.Offshore Geotiffs - Backscatter Geotiffs.

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Ground Truthing/Seabed Sampling

To verify the results of remotely sensed sonar data, it is important to collect physical sediment samples from the seabed. These may be from the surface where grabs are used or may penetrate through the seabed and retain the vertical structure of the sediment by using various coring methods. These samples are also critical for the confirming seabed classifications.

Several seabed sampling surveys were undertaken in the area as seen in the map below.

 

Sediment samples recovered from the seabed off Bunmahon using a grab sampler. Sandy gravel with numerous shell fragments and Fine - medium Sand.

Sample locations can be downloaded as a shapefile from our Interactive Web Data Delivery System (IWDDS).

On the IWDDS Select your area of interest. Vector datasets - Offshore - Offshore Shapefiles

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Shallow Seismic

Image of shallow seismic pinger data collected over the sand wave area seen above. The distance between fixes in blue is 200 metres and the vertical distance between the red lines is 8 metres. This image shows the clear symmertical shape of the ripples and the amplitude is around 4 metres.

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Seabed Classification

Seabed classification is an advanced process in which a backscatter image is interrogated using special software in order to divide it into areas which have similar characteristics. Areas which have a similar nature are grouped together and divided into separate classes. These classes are colour coded and developed into seabed classification charts.  

 The classification of the multibeam dataset from the Waterford coast resulted in the creation of a 5 class classification divided into Rock, Rock and Coarse Gravel, Gravel and Coarse Sand, Coarse to Medium Sand and Medium to Fine Sand.

Seabed Classification Chart for Waterford Harbour and Approaches.(Click on image for more detailed map)

Further information about the classification process can be found in the Data Processing section.

For a more detailed .pdf chart of the seabed classification of Waterford Harbour and Approaches click here

You can download the Seabed Classification in ArcGIS GRID format data from IWDDS

(Data Type: ArcGIS GRIDS, Region: Offshore ArcGIS, Theme: Seabed Classification ArcGIS GRID

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Geology

Waterford Harbour Geology
The rocks surrounding the eastuary leading into Waterford harbour include the famous Old Red Sandstone (belonging to the Devonian Period), ancient slates and volcanic rocks. The peninsula of Hook Head is well known for its limestone exposures, in which many fossilised marine corals can be seen. The seabed data is particularly interesting here as the outline of the estuary seems to extend southwards underwater as a gap in the seafloor rock outcrop. Perhaps, during a period lower sea level, this area of seafloor was in fact dry land and this was the original expression of the estuary.

Dungarvan Bay Geology
The geology of the Dungarvan bay coastline comprises a famous rock formation known as the Old Red Sandstone, some slates and volcanic rocks and in the middle an expanse of limestone. Limestone is relatively easier to weather and erode than many other rocks and that may explain the shape of the bay here.

Onshore Bedrock Geology shapefiles can be downloaded from our Interactive Web Data Delivery System (IWDDS).

On the IWDDS Select your area of interest. Vector datasets - Onshore - Bedrock

Offshore Geology shapefiles can be downloaded from our Interactive Web Data Delivery System (IWDDS).

On the IWDDS Select your area of interest. Vector datasets - Offshore - Offshore Shapefiles

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Shipwrecks

A 60m shipwreck discovered opposite the marina in Waterford city. This vessel is believed to be the cargo ship the S.S. Harvard, dating from 1870, now embedded in a scour feature in the river bank.

Click here to download the S.S. Harvard shipwreck information sheet.

To view the shipwrecks in Google and to download Shipwreck Information Sheets please click here.

Shipwreck locations can be downloaded as a shapefile from our Interactive Web Data Delivery System (IWDDS).

On the IWDDS Select your area of interest. Vector datasets - Offshore - Offshore Shapefiles

 

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INFOMAR in Google Maps/Earth

To view and navigate around the Waterford coast dataset in Google Maps/Earth, click here

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3D Map of Waterford

Find out more here

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Waterford Storymap

To view and navigate around the Waterford coast dataset in Google Maps/Earth, click here

Find out more here

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Waterford Storymap App

Free INFOMAR Story Map App for Android & iOS phones

Discover the seabed features that INFOMAR have mapped in your area. Currently story maps are available for Galway, Kerry & Waterford.

Download App

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Data Access

Full details outlining the process to gain access to datasets for the bay above or all INFOMAR data can be found in the INFOMAR | Data page of this website.

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Return to Survey Details Map

Follow these links to your area of interest on the INFOMAR website:

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