Covering some 125,000 square kilometres of underwater territory, INFOMAR project will produce integrated mapping products covering the physical, chemical and biological features of the seabed.
INFOMAR will initially focus on 26 priority bays and three priority areas around the coast delivering: hydrographic maps illustrating everything from sandbars to underwater troughs; seabed classification maps showing the type of sediment on the seabed, for example sand and gravel deposits which could provide potentially valuable marine aggregates for the construction industry; and habitat maps showing areas which provide homes to a wide range of marine flora and fauna.
These integrated maps will allow us to plan for sustainable development of Ireland’s 220 million acres underwater and protect biologically sensitive areas and resources.
Outputs from INFOMAR
INFOMAR provides key baseline data to support coastal and inshore development. The data collected can be used to input into tidal models and carrying capacity models which can be used for example by the aquaculture industry.
The programme aims to make the vast amount of data collected available to as wide an audience. Making this information available to the world aims to stimulate research and development of Ireland’s 220 million acres under the sea. The data will be of interest to fisheries managers, aquaculture operators, coastal zone managers and engineers, offshore engineering interests, licensing authorities and those carrying out environmental impact assessments. Indeed this unique dataset is of interest in its own right because of the sheer volume of data collected.
Data may be viewed and accessed from the follow sites:
The surveys are carried using a range of platforms, including the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager, inshore launches and Airborne LIDAR.
INFOMAR is managed jointly by the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute and is overseen by the INFOMAR Programme Board chaired by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.