GSI Short Calls Projects

GSI Short Calls Projects

Below is the list of Marine related funded projects as part of the GSI Short Calls​.


Lead Applicant: Dr Max Kozachenko, Host: Geocoast

Project Title: GEOCOAST guide to the Wild Atlantic Way (A guide to coastal geology and landscapes of the Wild Atlantic Way)

Project Description: This project will produce a hard copy pocket guide to coastal geology and landscapes of the Wild Atlantic Way. It will include maps showing locations of places of interest, photographs and informative text treating coastal landscapes from a perspective of bedrock and Quaternary geology and environmental processes that shaped them. Report

Lead Applicant: Dr Max Kozachenko, Host: Geocoast

Project Title: Development of a coastal infrastructure GIS (open source)

Project Description: This project will develop a coastal infrastructure GIS for Ireland using open source Map Server technology. GIS data and metadata will be collated, standardised and quality checked. New mapping will be performed to fill the gaps and will be based on interpretation of available aerial photographs and field visits. Report

Lead Applicant: Dr Mark Coughlan, Host: Gaeletric

Project Title: Irish sea suitability mapping for novel offshore foundations (ISSMaNOF)

Project Description: The Irish Sea has one of Europe's best offshore renewable energy resources. Current vagaries about the geological conditions may significantly impact offshore infrastructural development. The ISSMaNOF project aims to utilise extensive geophysical and geological data gathered by INFOMAR to generate value-added mapping products within the context of offshore foundation feasibility. Report

Lead Applicant: Dr Conor Cahalane, Host: Maynooth University

Project Title: Developing a rapid, low-cost bathymetric survey methodology using multiresolution imagery

Project Description: This project is a collaboration between Maynooth University and the GSI. Remote sensing image processing algorithms will be applied to multi-resolution imagery in the development of a methodology for bathymetric mapping. The suitability of imagery captured by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Light Aircraft and Satellites will be assessed in these tests. Report


Lead Applicant: Mr Ronan O'Toole, Host: Greenlight Surveys

Project Title: UAV for intertidal and coastal zone mapping feasibility study

Project Description: Recent advances in UAV technology, mean that a novel approach for addressing coastal and intertidal zone mapping may now be feasible. This short call project aims to determine the feasibility of using UAVs for coastal mapping and will address the operational parameters and procedures, processing techniques and regulatory issues which must be constrained prior to deployment of this technology in a dedicated coastal mapping role. Report

Lead Applicant: Mr Gearoid O'Riain, Host: Compass Infomatics

Project Title: Development of a coastal infrastructure web GIS with remote sensing focus

Project Description: The project will deliver an open-source WebGIS that will reuse existing tools in use in Compass Informatics and in geoscience organisations. This will be populated with coastal infrastructure data and remote sensing imagery including Sentinel data, along with selected imagery analysis data products. Report

Lead Applicant: Dr James Riordan, Host: Sonarsim

Project Title: A hydrography training program demonstrator

Project Description: This project will leverage SonarSim's existing Hydrographic Survey Simulation infrastructure to create the learning content for a small-scale programme demonstrator which will showcase our innovative task based approach to competency based training. The long term strategic objective is the establishment of an Irish Centre of Excellence in Hydrography Training. Report

Lead Applicant: Dr Aggeliki Georgiopoulou, Host: University College Dublin

Project Title: Frequency of slope collapses on Rockall Bank and mechanical characterisation of the sediments

Project Description: This project seeks to understand what makes the sediments at the eastern slope of Rockall Bank so prone to instability and also how frequent these slide events are. A set of sediment cores, collected during the SORBEH expedition from water depths of 700-2000m, are going to be used. Report

Lead Applicant: Dr Colman Gallagher, Host: University College Dublin

Project Title: Quantifying coastal evolution along Donegal Bay system using remote sensing approaches

Project Description: This project examines the impacts of changing sediment supply, rising sea level and climate change on coastal dune stability, determining relationships between shoreline change rates, beach/dune morphodynamics and near-shore/offshore sediment availability and pathways in Donegal Bay. The research pilots the possible development of an integrated national-scale model of coastal change. Report

Lead Applicant: Prof Debra Laefer, Host: University College Dublin

Project Title: Coastal modelling through low-cost video-based photogrammetry

Project Description: Coastal modelling through low-cost video-based photogrammetry will develop a rapid, low-cost means to monitor changes along coastal areas and river networks. The overall goal is to develop an online system for submitting video imagery that is then processed as a series of still images for improved documentation. Report 


Lead Applicant: Prof Dan Toal, Host: University of Limerick

Project Title: Unmanned surface vehicle for inshore bathymetric survey

Project Description: This project addresses the need of GSI to carry out seabed survey in in-shore shallow areas, which cannot readily be completed with normal survey vessel because of draft / safety concerns. The project will develop a USV control system to enable (semi) autonomous operation of survey in these shallows. Report

Lead Applicant: Prof Dan Toal, Host: University of Limerick

Project Title: Semi-autonomous UAV landing in challenging conditions

Project Description: This project deals with UAV landing in Challenging Condition" and is focused on the development of pilot support tools for operations of take-off and landing from a moving platform. The goal is to develop a reliable control platform to aid the pilot and to provide a level semi-autonomous operation. Report


Lead Applicant: Dr Audrey Morley, Host: NUI, Galway

Project Title: Deposition and accumulation of microplastics and pollutants in marine sediments from the Irish continental shelf

Project Description: The Shannon delivers a high sediment load west of the Aaran Islands, providing habitat for Nephrops but also sources of pollution including microplastics and heavy metals. Here we are developing a method to identify microplastics and heavy metals deposited in marine sediments for an economically and ecologically important fishing ground. Report


Lead Applicant: Dr Mary Bourke, Host: Trinity College Dublin

Project Title: Investigation of Ireland's coastal platforms: location, type and coastal protection

Project Description: Shore platforms are a significant component of Ireland's coastal systems and have the potential to buffer coasts from storm wave hazards. This project will map the distribution of shore platforms and conduct a pilot study to investigate the role that platforms have in the effective attenuation of wave energy. Report


Lead Applicant: Mr Gavin Duffy, Host: Realsim

Project Title: 3D simulation of Ireland 'Ancient East' marine environment

Project Description: RealSim will build an interactive 3d simulation of Irelands 'Ancient East' seabed and adjacent coastline stretching from Carlingford Lough to Waterford Harbour. The simulated environment will be populated with some of the worlds oldest lighthouses and numerous shipwrecks from WWI. The projects intention is to bring awareness to Ireland's rich marine heritage. Report


Lead Applicant: Dr Sara Benetti, Host: University of Ulster

Project Title: Past and modern environments of Galway Bay (GB-ENV)

Project Description: A multi-disciplinary investigation into the elements that have shaped Galway Bay since the last glaciation to present day. Sedimentological and geophysical data will be combined to produce geomorphological and stratigraphic maps; sediment cores will provide specific clues on how the sedimentary and oceanic processes have altered the bay over time.

Lead Applicant: Dr Helen Roe, Host: Queen's University Belfast

Project Title: Development of integrated protocols for the rapid mapping and assessment of metal contamination in intertidal and supratidal environments

Project Description: This project aims to develop new methodologies to aid in the rapid mapping and assessment of metal contaminants in intertidal and supratidal environments. The study will employ multidisciplinary approaches that will utilise ITRAX-core scanning, intertidal foraminifera, a group of protozoans that are sensitive to metal contamination, and Tellus geochemistry data. Report

Lead Applicant: Dr Mary Bourke, Host: Trinity College Dublin

Project Title: Innovative approaches to identifying and mapping coastal landslides

Project Description: Landslide data bases are required for the assessment of susceptibility and understanding of risk. Landslide inventories are a time- and resource-intensive activity. This project will explore the use of machine learning algorithms and drone technology to enable a more accurate mapping and inventory-building capability for coastal landslides. Report

Lead Applicant: Prof Dermot Diamond, Host: Dublin City University

Project Title: Mapping the spatial and temporal variations of water quality in Dublin Bay

Project Description: This project aims to generate real-time information on water column variables occurring in Dublin Bay using in-situ sensor measurements. Data generated will be used in tandem with remote (including satellite) sensing data that will ultimately provide the information to inform predictive models on events happening within the water body. Report


Lead Applicant: Dr Seamus Coveney, Host: EnvoGeo Environmental Geoinformatics

Project Title: Intertidal Feature Mapping from Sentinel and Drone (INTREPID)

Project Description: A combination of Satellite and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) imagery and UAS Digital Surface Model (DSM) data is proposed for detailed intertidal mapping. The potential for intertidal zone features to be automatically and semi-automatically recognised from Sentinel 2 multispectral imagery and very high-resolution UAS (drone) data will be examined. ESA Sentinel-2 satellite imagery, Sentinel-2 and SNAP Toolboxes and contemporary desktop image processing and classification toolsets will be used to undertake intertidal zone feature recognition. Shoreline definition modelling will be derived from Sentinel-2 image series, utilising recently published SHOREX algorithms developed by the research co-applicant. Very high-resolution intertidal zone feature recognition and shoreline extraction modelling will be carried out using existing GSI UAS (drone) imagery and UAS DSM data. Feature recognition will be carried out using 3D feature recognition algorithms that have been recently developed and tested by the lead applicant. Strong applied research impact is envisaged, including the development of feature recognition algorithms and tools which would provide the basis of larger proposals that optimise the applied research potential of ESA products. Direct peer-reviewed research impact potential is anticipated in the intertidal application of Sentinel-2 data, the evolution of Sentinel-2 shoreline extraction models, UAS-DSM shoreline modelling and feature recognition approaches. Report


Lead Applicant: Dr Paul Doherty, Host: Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions Ltd

Project Title: Scour Potential Evaluation of the Western Irish Sea Mud Belt (SCOPE)

Project Description: Ireland can potentially exploit its offshore wind resource as a sustainable source of clean energy.
However, reliable designs must be provided that minimise the environmental impact. Scour is the process of seabed erosion due to the imposed shear stress generated by seabed current and/or waves and has been identified as a key geological feature of the Irish Sea that could have a constraint on engineering activities (Mellet et al., 2015). The presence of seabed obstructions, such as wind turbine foundations, typically result in localised increases in current velocities and induce scour. Local scour can have a significant impact on foundation design and may impact on habitat conditions. Therefore, it represents a significant geological hazard from an environmental and engineering perspective. The SCOPE project will conduct a scour assessment for the Western Irish Sea Mud Belt; an area that has been identified for offshore wind development and which supports
Nephrops fisheries. A significant amount of data that has been gathered for the region will be analysed to identify the potential for scour occurrence. The aim is to establish a geological baseline applicable for future engineering and environmental studies. Guidelines and recommendations for future scour assessments will support sustainable offshore wind development. Report


Lead Applicant: Dr Mary Bourke, Host: Trinity College Dublin

Project Title: Coastal platform geology, classification and roughness

Project Description: Platforms are erosional landforms found on rocky shorelines. They provide important ecosystem services and are significant components of Ireland's coastal systems. Data suggest that platforms slow rates of coastal retreat by attenuating wave energy and protecting the coastline cliffs from direct wave impact. Knowledge of the lithology, surface morphology and roughness of Ireland's platforms will improve understanding of the response of Ireland's coastline to future climate change. The proposed work builds on a previously funded GSI short call project that 1. Produced a map of Irelands coastal platforms; 2. Proposed a new classification for platforms and 3. Tested wave attenuation across a shore platform during summer and winter conditions. The proposed research will:
1. Map the lithology of Irish coastal platforms using existing national geological data and the map of coastal platforms produced form a 2015 funded GSI short call project.
2. Field test the Bourke et al, 2016 classification of coastal rock platforms by applying it to seven platform sites around Ireland's coastline.
3. Quantify the roughness of seven coastal platforms classes using UAV image data to build DTMs
The proposed work falls clearly under the GSI coastal mapping and Geohazards theme.



Lead Applicant:  Dr Siddhi Joshi, Host: NUI Galway

Project Title: Modelling maerl habitat dynamics in response to increased storminess

Project Description: Rhodolith (maerl) beds are unique, relatively rare, free-living, non-geniculate coralline red algae
forming biodiverse habitats and dense biogenic debris beaches. These beds provide hard habitat for other marine algae on their surface and for invertebrates living on and in the rhodoliths. This one year field research project investigates the response of offshore maerl beds and maerl debris beaches to storminess. Specifically, the morpho-sedimentary evolution of maerl beaches over timescales of seconds (swash dynamics) to months (seasonal weather) will be measured using a
suite of integrated, multi-disciplinary field and laboratory methods based on hydrodynamic modelling, bathymetric and topographic mapping, and groundwater fluxes. The experiments will utilise results from previous research (Griffith Geoscience PhD research of lead applicant SJ). The impact of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios on the regional hydrodynamic model will be made to quantify possible impacts of climate change on maerl. Using XBeach, an open-source numerical model with a domain size of kilometres, on the time scales of storms, outputs will be compared with nearshore-beach DEMs derived from UAV surveys (water and land), and supplemented with baseline INFOMAR LiDAR data from Greatman's Bay. This project will integrate oceanographic observations (waves, currents, tide) to compliment habitat mapping. Report


Lead Applicant: Dr Gavin Duffy, Host: Realsim

Project Title: The development of the CoastSim platform: a virtual coastal landscape time travel experience exploring landscape evolution

Project Description: CoastSim will allow users to virtually explore Ireland's coastline, past, present and future
within detailed 3D environment simulations. To be developed as a public facing platform, it will aim to engage and educate the public on the theme of the dynamic ever changing coast.
For this project, CoastSim will visually present the story of the evolving coastal landscape from the last ice-age to the present on two pilot study sites, in Dublin Bay and at Grange, in Co. Sligo. The simulations will shed light on the influence of geology, glaciation, climate change and the arrival of man on their shape and form. The simulations will also offer an opportunity to travel forward in time and present various scenarios on how the coast could look in the future based on rising sea levels, coastal erosion and man's efforts to control it. The simulations will be produced by combining a customised game engine with high resolution terrestrial and marine mapping data (bathymetry, drone and OSi aerial mapping), populated with graphical content (glaciars, ancient forests and changing sea levels). Offline and online versions will be produced. The slightly simpler online version, CoastSim Lite, will be produced using WebGL (Web Graphics Language), ensuring maximum public reach,
whilst the offline version will be available at Grange Armada visitor centre and ensure that the graphical possibilities are pushed to their limits without the restriction of browser and end user machine limitations. Report