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INIS Hydro project aim and objectives


The project will provide a high-resolution seabed baseline data set for over 1400km2 of seabed off the coast of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland using state-of-the-art multibeam echosounder equipment to the most rigorous international standards.  On completion of survey operations, the data will be made available for free download via the internet.

Seabed areas have been chosen which have high environmental significance, which are currently poorly surveyed, pose a current risk to safe navigation or has a marine renewables focus.  The updating of seabed knowledge for these areas will therefore provide the maximum benefit to the greatest number of cross-border stakeholders.

The project will foster close working relationships between the partner organisations through the development and implementation of a standardised seabed survey specification as well as the sharing of good-practice between the partners.  The seabed survey specification will be made freely available to other organisations in the Republic of Ireland and the UK and will encourage gathering of future data from many different organisations to a common standard.  This will encourage future sharing of seabed data between different organisations and could also form the basis of a European-wide seabed survey specification.


  • provide a detailed hydrographic survey specification that can be utilised by all project partners during and after the INIS Hydro project.  The specification will be drafted between 1st April 2011 and 1st December 2011 and will be made publicly available here for other national organisations to use.
  • obtain, for the first time, comprehensive multibeam bathymetry data in areas of identified strategic importance
  • generate quality data that conform at least to International Hydrographic Organisation 'Order 1A' standard
  • undertake all seabed survey operations between 1st April 2011 and 31st March 2013. The surveys will be undertaken by the Irish Marine Institute, Agri–Food and Biosciences Institute, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Scottish Association for Marine Science
  • ... to obtain seabed depth data and ground-truthed, geocoded backscatter data (by Grab sample) for the surveyed areas
  • ... to provide seabed sediment maps for the surveyed areas showing interpreted seabed types
  • serve up high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and backscatter data files on the world-wide web
  • work co-operatively to ensure results are compatible with the needs of all regions and to foster better technology and procedure transfer between the partner organisations
  • provide bathymetry data to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office to enable updating of nautical charts and publications in Scottish, Northern Irish and Irish waters to improve safety for mariners
  • make available and proactively disseminate up-to-date seabed mapping data (including information on bathymetry, habitat type and environmental conditions) to stakeholders, key end-users and the public
  • contribute to meeting the requirements of the Marine Bill (UK), the Sea Change Strategy (Republic of Ireland) and the Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union
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Our Funders

Main funder

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A project supported by the European
Union's INTERREG IVA Programme
managed by the Special EU
Programmes Body

Match funding provided by

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