Monday, 14 December 2009

Groundtruthing in Donegal and Sligo Bays

From the 6th to 8th of July 2009, a ground truthing or seabed sampling survey was undertaken in the region of Donegal and Sligo Bay.

A local vessel, the K-Mar-K from Killybegs, was chartered for this purpose. The vessels top speed of greater than 20 knots, high maneuverability and experienced crew proved highly successful for sample acquisition.

Local vessel, the K-Mar-K from Killybegs, provided the platform for the ground truthing leg.

90 proposed sample sites were identified in the area, based on bathymetric data previously collected by INFOMAR surveys and also on seabed classification map products by INFOMAR. Of these proposed locations, 80 were successfully sampled, despite adverse weather conditions.

Map of the sample locations in Donegal and Sligo Bays .

In all instances, the 'Day Grab' was used to ensure consistency in results and due to ease of handling of this grab design. The samples recovered were described and photographed once brought on deck but will also undergo further detailed particle size analysis and will be used to refine INFOMAR seabed classification and geology products for the region.

The Day Grab (to left) on the back deck of the K-Mar-K which was used at all sampling sites.

Example of a sediment sample collected during the ground truthing leg.

The use of a suitable, locally sourced vessel capable of high-speed transits between sample locations, maximised the cost effectiveness of this sampling campaign in Donegal and Sligo Bays.

All INFOMAR data is available for free download here.

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