Our first offshore survey of 2021

Our survey season has begun
.

Friday 4th June sees the successful completion of another offshore INFOMAR survey Leg. Conducted aboard the R.V. Celtic Voyager over 4 weeks, the scientific team employed state-of-the-art Multibeam Echosounders to map the seafloor and its underlying geology. It is the first of four offshore surveys scheduled for this year and during it mapped an area of Ireland’s seabed, 1294 km2, roughly the size of Co. Monaghan! The survey was divided into two broad areas, firstly an area about 55miles due south of the Old Head of Kinsale, Co. Cork and a second area even further south again. So far south in fact it was on the same latitude as Cherbourg in France but still within Irelands territorial waters. 

The seabed data acquired in this area of the Celtic Sea will be particularly useful for generating bathymetry and seabed classification maps, which can be used in assessing habitats and ecosystems in this important reqion.  These maps will facilitate more accurate navigation charts for shipping, help inform biodiversity and fisheries management, and the sustainable development of offshore renewables, amongst others.

Of further interest, the team conducted detailed surveys of 7 shipwrecks, 4 of which were previously uncharted, and one that sank just last month. INFOMAR maintains a detailed shipwreck database where 3D models of each wreck can be viewed once fully processed. Shipwreck data, like our bathymetric and geophysical data is freely available to download in multiple formats and from www.infomar.ie.

INFOMAR is Ireland’s national seabed mapping programme and is funded by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC). It is jointly managed by Geological Survey Ireland and Marine Institute and is tasked with fully mapping Ireland’s territorial waters for the sustainable development of Ireland’s marine resource. INFOMAR will continue until the end of 2026, enabling effective management and accelerated growth to support Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.