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Seeing the seafrom a new perspective – the seabed!

Cork Harbour Seabed

Every Friday the Marine Institute is offering unique views of the Irish coastline, free-of-charge.

Since 2006, INFOMAR’s seabed mapping efforts have been instrumental in enhancing our understanding of Ireland’s underwater landscape

These are the INFOMAR Blue Scale Map Series, a unique collection of 18 high-resolution bathymetric maps. It is the culmination of a twenty-year programme to map the physical, chemical and biological features of Ireland’s entire coastal seabed, called the ‘Integrated Mapping for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource.’ Developed by a dedicated team of hydrographers, data processors and cartographers, the maps highlight the topography of the coast in unprecedented detail.

The INFOMAR programme brought together the Geological Survey Ireland and the Marine Institute when it was started in 2006 to map Ireland’s seabed and deliver a comprehensive baseline bathymetry dataset to underpin the future management of Ireland’s marine resource. It has been funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications  and is one of the world’s largest seabed mapping programmes.

Founded in 1845, Geological Survey Ireland is the national public science knowledge centre, a division of the Department of the Environment, committed to providing free, open and accurate data and maps on Ireland’s subsurface to landowners, the public, industry and all other stakeholders, within Ireland and internationally. 

The Marine Institute is the State agency responsible for marine research, technology development and innovation.

Galway Bay, beneath the surface

“Ireland’s coastline has some of the most unique and dynamic marine environments in Europe,” says Seán Haughton,  INFOMAR Scientific & Technical Officer (GIS) “The Blue Scale Map Series is the culmination of over a decade of work. These new high-resolution maps highlight the unique and intricate landscapes that lie beneath the waves. The programme has placed Ireland centre-stage as global leaders in marine stewardship, seabed mapping and development of marine resources.”

The series offers unique views of the seabed.. Galway Bay, the Clare coastline, Kerry, have already been released and the project is moving onto Cork and then other coastal areas. It is well worth your while to look these up.

INFOMAR is making all 18 maps available for free to the public to download in high resolution JPEG format. Follow the journey each week as a new map is released on the INFOMAR website, and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

Bantry Bay, from the seabed perspective!


While discussing maritime maps, I have been searching for the location of an unusual wreck brought to my attention by a reader. It is unusual because the reason given for the sinking of the Henrietta in 1776 is “a rat hole leak!”

The vessel was en route to Cobh “with passengers and merchant goods under Capt. Bastable, between September 14 and 17, 1776. “She sank due to a leak in her bottom caused by a rat hole,” is the most information I could locate. One report gives the sinking as ‘near Cobh’, but I could not find any further details.

Nor could I find information about what happened to the passenger and the merchant goods aboard.

If anyone can provide information, please Email to:

And I am always pleased to hear from listeners and readers. Suggestions for Podcast programme items and other information is always welcome.

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