An overview of the survey area at the mouth of the Shannon estuary showing the newly acquired bathymetric data. The solid-colour areas indicate the extent of previous survey work.
The survey area is particularly important for a number of reasons – not only does the area incorporate a busy shipping channel, it is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for resident bottlenose dolphins, and from a geological perspective it overlies an important subterranean structure called the Iapetus Suture Zone – a large seam running through Ireland’s ancient bedrock that marks the closing of an ocean pre-dating the Atlantic by many millions of years.
A variety of interesting seabed features were mapped in detail, and are detailed in the following images. Note that the colour scale represents depth, from deeper (blue) to shallower (red):
Outcrop of folded bedrock off Inishaboy Point, Co Kerry.
Shaded relief bathymetry indicates a channel feature visible in rocky seabed lying north of Kerry Head.
Distinctive layers of limestone off Horse Island, Co Clare.
Folded and faulted bedrock off Loop Head. A 3D multibeam image of the S.S. Premier wreck showing the hull of the vessel lying in a general water depth of 21m.
Multibeam echosounder image of the S.S. Premier in plan view.