Title: Quaternary Seismostratigraphies of Irish Shelf Seas (QuSISS)
Researchers: Dr Zsuzsanna Toth, Prof. Andy Wheeler
The development of Irish offshore resources and infrastructure development is constrained by the properties of shallow sub-seabed units. Seabed raw materials (aggregates and offshore placers) are limited by the thickness of exploitable sedimentary units: a knowledge and overview of which is lacking. The deployment of seabed infrastructure (pipelines, subsea facilities, jack-ups, static platforms, subsea development units, anchors, wind turbines, etc.) requires an understanding of sub-sea stratigraphies and their geotechnical properties: a knowledge and overview of which is lacking. Producing a 3D stratigraphic model for the shallow sub-seabed around Ireland would enable constrained desktop evaluations for development at an early stage of planning, de-risking economic activities and improving efficiencies.
Through the INFOMAR programme, Ireland has produced extensive multibeam seabed coverages for Irish coastal waters: near-continuous for the south and east coasts. In addition to multibeam echosounder data, a significant amount of shallow seismic data (principally sparker) has also been collected concurrently with additional seismic data (sparker and boomer) collected by the marine geology research group in UCC (led by Prof. Andy Wheeler) for several seasons, and other research groups, as well as limited digital commercial data.
This project will produce, for the first time, a Quaternary stratigraphic framework for the south coast of Ireland complete with an inventory and seismic database. In addition, for the Irish Sea, for the first time, a complete stratigraphic framework will be developed for the whole of the Irish sector (based on the BGS model) with an inventory and seismic database.