Marine Institute

Irish Underwater Atlas Launched at Geoscience Event

November 3, 2010

L to R: Dr, Paedar McArdle, Director GSI, Mr. Conor Lenihan, T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and Dr. Peter Heffernan, Chief Executive of the Marine Institute at the launch of the new atlas.Photo:Maxwell PhotographyFollowing the publication of ‘The Real Map of Ireland’, showing a three-dimensional overview  of Ireland’s seabed territory, earlier this year comes ‘The Real Atlas’ – a detailed compilation of stunning three-dimensional imagery featuring the submarine canyons, underwater mountains and abyssal plains that make up Ireland’s seabed territory, an area ten times that of our land mass.

 

L to R: Dr, Paedar McArdle, Director GSI, Mr. Conor Lenihan, T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and Dr. Peter Heffernan, Chief Executive of the Marine Institute at the launch of the new atlas.Photo:Maxwell Photography

This publication, Atlas of the Deep Water Seabed, Ireland was unveiled today (Wednesday 3rdth November) by Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Conor Lenihan, T.D.  at the Geoscience 2010 conference in Dublin Castle. It has been compiled by University College, Cork from data gathered as part of the Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) and INFOMAR inshore seabed survey undertaken by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) the Marine Institute and partners,

Minister Lenihan and the authors of the atlas

Speaking at the opening of the event Minister Lenihan said, “This is the first such Atlas of its kind world-wide, reflecting our leading role in this field. It will be a valuable resource as we seek to utilise our vast ocean resources in the years ahead. As we develop ocean energy, offshore wind and further oil and gas prospecting, an accurate map of the deep seabed will be vital.”

 

Minister Lenihan (second from left) with the authors of the atlas: Left to Right: Xavier Monteys (GSI), Andy Wheeler and Boris Dorschel (University College, Cork).Photo:Marine Institute

The first day of the conference focused on what has been described by European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn as one of the “grand challenges for the 21st Century” – the seas and oceans. It featured detailed papers on seabed mapping, deepwater coral reefs, deepwater remotely operated vehicles and a virtual computer simulation of Galway Bay.

£D picture of the Gollum canyon

3D image of the 300 km-long Gollum Channel system off the Porcupine Seabight, extending from the edge of the Seabight right down to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain.Image by B. Dorschel with kind permission from Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

First day speakers from the Marine Institute included Fabio Sacchetti, who described the mapping of the Rockall Trough, and Tommy Furey who discussed the value of seabed mapping projects to a wide variety of marine industries. The first day’s proceedings also included a paper by Dr Colm Lordan of the Marine Institute’s Fisheries Science Services team on the value of the INFOMAR seabed survey to the Irish fishing industry, and an important paper by the Marine Institute’s Director of Strategic Planning and Development Services, Yvonne Shields entitled “Irish Marine research in the Bigger Picture.”

 

Corals and crinoids on the ocean floor

 Corals and crinoid starfish cling to the wall of the Whittard Canyon in 800 metres of water. (Photo: National Oceanography Centre, Southampton U.K.)

 

The second day of the conference, will  focus on more terrestrial themes includes papers on new findings in relation to Irish offshore basins from researchers at UCD.

 

Full details of the event, including the programme of speakers, are available from:

 http://www.gsi.ie/Geoscience+Initiatives/Geoscience+2010+Conference.htm

Cover of the Atlas

Atlas of the Deep Water Seabed, Ireland can be ordered directly from amazon.co.uk at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-