Brief Overview of INFOMAR/INSS
encompasses an area that is approximately ten times the size of Ireland's
land area and represents one of the largest seabed mapping projects undertaken
anywhere in the world. Maps that result from the survey are a pre-requisite
for the policy evolution, management and sustainable development of Ireland's
INFOMAR/INSS is primarily about acquiring baseline information to promote and encourage research in marine science. Most of Ireland's seabed is unmapped and consequently represents a large untapped resource of potential benefit to many different sectors. In authorising this survey the government recognised that Ireland must maximise the commercial opportunities presented by its marine resources and plan measures to protect the marine environment in the most effective manner possible.
SV Bligh, the first survey vessel
also represents an opportunity to build up national marine expertise and
to spread this expertise across government agencies, third level institutions
and a strengthened private sector.
- How is the survey carried out?
INFOMAR/INSS is primarily a multibeam sonar survey of an area of 525,000 sq. km in size. This acoustic technique is providing detailed bathymetry (water depth) data and knowledge of the nature of the seabed and its overlying sediment. Magnetic and gravity techniques are helping to evaluate the nature and structure of the deeper geology.
Other survey techniques are also being used to acquire additional primary datasets including:
data is being collected on an opportunity basis and secondary projects
can be initiated researching a wide range of marine topics (for further
information see Ancillary Projects).
Where is the survey taking place?
Ireland's territorial seabed reaches more than 600 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean to waters of more than 4,500 metres in depth. For full details see the large-scale Map. The territorial seabed has been split into three distinct areas or contours for surveying purposes:
The other primary area of work is the addition of value to the data via our extensive data-processing programme in-house in GSI.
On-board Quality Control
What information technology underpins the survey?
This overall I.T. architecture will ensure the provision of high quality interpreted data to customers.
For a review of previous years' activities click here.
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