This project will conduct a morphodynamic study of designated areas in the Irish Sea

Project Insights

  • €228,505

    Total Project Costs
  • 2 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2018

    Year Funded

Project Description

Ireland's expansive marine resource has the potential to provide significant economic growth through the development of critical infrastructure such as offshore renewable energy installations. Offshore wind farm developments may alter the marine environment in a number of ways, including increasing turbidity, development of scour around turbine foundations, as well as erosion around electricity cables. This can have environmental implications, as well as impacts on the operation of the wind farm. For instance, erosion around the electricity cables can result in infrastructural damage, which may result in operational downtime for the wind farm. To fully understand the seabed morphodynamics before and following offshore wind development, a thorough understanding of the hydrodynamics and seabed morphodynamics processes is required. This project will conduct a morphodynamic study of designated areas in the Irish Sea. This will involve a geological, geotechnical, sediment and morphodynamic assessment of the seabed sediments. Repeat surveys will be conducted to assist in understanding seabed changes over time. Furthermore, predictive sediment transport modelling, validated against field data, will be used to characterise future seabed changes and to quantify the risk for future potential offshore wind developments in the Irish Sea. This project supports our national strategy for the sustainable development of Ireland's marine resource, as outlined in the National Marine Research and Innovation Strategy 2017-2021. The project specifically supports three of the fifteen themes outlined in this strategy document: 1) Renewable Energy, 2) Ocean Observation & Seabed Mapping and 3) Engineering. Furthermore, the project supports Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan by removing some of the barriers to the development of the offshore wind sector in Ireland. The outcomes of the project will support developers in efficient design, installation and maintenance planning of offshore renewable assets and will reduce the risk associated with future wind farm developments in the Irish Sea.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €228,505

Funding Agency: Marine Institute

Year Funded: 2018

Lead Organisation: Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions Ltd. (GDG)

Partner Organisation(s): University College Cork (UCC)

Paul Doherty

Lead Researcher