New High Resolution Seabed Classification Data
We have just published a new high resolution seabed classification of the substrate types in the Celtic Sea. Seabed classification data are becoming increasingly important in the implementation of Irelands Marine Spatial Plan with uses across multiple marine sectors including offshore renewable energy, fisheries and in the creation of habitat maps. Using a novel methodology developed by INFOMAR, Multibeam echosounder (MBES) backscatter data are classified into acoustic classes which in turn can be refined into more detailed habitat classes.
Of particular interest is the Celtic Sea where multiple marine sectors and stakeholders coexist. Combined with environmental variables, substrate maps can predict the presence of habitats, a critical data layer required to balance marine conservation with offshore development in the marine spatial planning process. Our new high resolution maps provide a detailed interpretation of the substrate types off the south coast up to 80 m depth. In addition, further seabed classification data will become available as the seabed survey of this region progresses.
For an example on how we classify the seabed using acoustic data, you can view our Seabed Classification Tutorial here. This instructive methodology was developed as part of INFOMARS Education & Outreach program and delivered to MSc. students.