Although under steady state conditions shelf systems are usually in equilibrium, unprecedented sediment inputs, tsunami surges, storm surges and climate change-driven seabed impacts mean that new equilibria will be reached, the pathways to these new states need to be understood (both from a hazard and a geotechnical perspective).
The main objectives of iCRAG's research in de-risking offshore wind are:
- To identify and investigate the primary geological and geotechnical constraints to developing offshore wind in the Irish Sea through site evaluation;
- To identify potential areas for future development and de-risk existing challenges at these sites;
- To identify data gaps in our current understanding of site development.
Risk assessment methodologies used for peat stability assessment are often inconsistent. This research theme is determining what rheological deformation model that best describes the behaviour of peat. Furthermore it is not yet clear if best ‘risk assessment’ should be Qualitative, Probabilistic or Deterministic within data limitations. Undertaking research using an existing large databank of observations, as well as undertaking empirical testing at study sites will improve scientific understanding of peat slope stability assessment, as well as inform engineering methodologies and standards for future practice.
Construction activity on peatlands has increased significantly since 2000 due to the development of on-shore wind renewables. This construction activity has produced a large databank of geotechnical data and observations that has not yet been robustly scientifically evaluated. This research theme will utilise, research and evaluate this data to answer three key questions: (1) Are the risk assessment methodologies employed on peatland environments consistent? (2) Are these methodologies appropriate to a peat substrate, in terms of its deformation behaviour? (3) Have these methodologies been successful in mitigating risk and long term peatland management?
- Peat slope stability and the effectiveness of mitigation measures on peatland sites in Ireland - Eileen McCarthy
- Geotechnical de-risking of the Irish offshore environment through geological assessment and mapping - Dr Mark Coughlan