Mapping Potential Landslide Hazards
 Geology Matters No 8
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Mapping Potential Landslide Hazards

GSI begins a major Landslides Susceptibility Mapping Project

Ronnie Creighton

Mr. Seán Power T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, recently announced the commencement of a major new initiative on landslides mapping by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI). Engineering consultants Mouchel Ireland Ltd. have been commissioned by GSI to undertake landslides susceptibility mapping in two designated areas of Ireland. This project was a major recommendation of the Landslides in Ireland report published by GSI in 2006. The two areas are East Leinster and the Greater Cork City area. These two regions encompass two of the major development zones in Ireland.

East Leinster

Greater Cork City
Basemap images from NASA/JPL/NGA

It is important to identify areas vulnerable to landsliding so as to minimise potential damage to infrastructural, residential and commercial developments and to plan for sustainable development in the future. The project will include the coastal zone in the two areas and be scheduled over a number of years. This project is very important in the context of climate change, where Ireland is predicted to experience higher intensity rainfall in the winter season which will increase the risk of landsliding in the country. Sea level is also predicted to rise and this will make the coastal zone more vulnerable to erosion. It is intended that the mapping methodology developed for this project will be adapted to undertake landslides susceptibility mapping in other areas of the country in the future.