• Feasibility Study on the Establishment of a Large Scale Inshore Resource Mapping Project

      Parsons, A.; Barton, K.; Brown, C.; Berry, A.; Curtis, J.; Emblow, C.; Hartnett, M.; Nash, S.; Rooney, S. (Marine Institute, 2004)
      In 1999 the Irish Government allocated €27 million to survey all of Ireland’s territorial waters. The National Seabed Survey involves the acquisition and processing of 850,000sq.km of multibeam sonar swath bathymetry, sub-bottom seismic reflection, gravity, magnetic and ancillary geological and water column data in water depths of 50m to 4000m. The area is divided into Zone 3 (water depths 200m to 4000m), Zone 2 (50m to 200m) and Zone 1 (0m to 50m). By 2003, the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) had completed Zone 3 data acquisition and the Marine Institute had mapped a large area offshore northwest Ireland (especially Donegal Bay) as part of its Zone 2 responsibilities. Mapping in Zone 2 will continue until 2006, by which time Ireland will be in possession of one of the most comprehensive seabed data sets in oceanic waters. During the planning of the National Seabed Survey, it was obvious that the mapping requirements for Zone 1 (0m to 50m) were more complex than those in deeper waters. This was because of the technical difficulties in mapping Ireland’s variable coastline, its economic importance and the diversity of potential stakeholder interests in Zone 1 waters. As a consequence, the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute focused on mapping Zones 3 and 2 respectively, where data could be collected easily and rapidly in spite of the large area. In the meantime, the Marine Institute commissioned this feasibility study to cost and prioritise a comprehensive mapping programme for Zone 1 as the final phase in the Government’s commitment to map Ireland’s entire offshore resource.