Marine substratum map of the Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland

R Plets, A Clements, R Quinn, J Strong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


A 1:30,000 substratum map for an area off the north coast of Ireland is presented. The study area is bounded in the south by the Causeway coastline and in the north by the following coordinates: top left corner (6°43′36″W, 55°17′N) and top right corner (6°27′W, 55°17′N). This mapping has been made possible through the availability of full seafloor coverage multibeam swath bathymetry and backscatter data (both gridded to 1 m), together with ground-truthing data collected over the past 40 years. Bathymetry data were used to generate terrain indices such as slope, rugosity, aspect, fine- and broad-scale Benthic Position Index, whilst the backscatter data were interpreted visually, subjected to an unsupervised classification process using QTC Multiview, and combined with the bathymetry-derived parameters into a clustermap in ArcGIS. The resulting maps allowed us to divide the seabed into 10 distinct acoustic classes, which, linked to sediment samples, diver surveys, underwater video-tows and remotely operated vehicle surveys, were converted into a substratum map. This is the most accurate seafloor substratum map to date for the north coast of Ireland and could form the basis for more in-depth geological, biological and hydrodynamic studies of this highly dynamic coastline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalJournal of Maps
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2012


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