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Scour potential evaluation of the Western Irish Sea Mud Belt (SCOPE)

Scour potential evaluation of the Western Irish Sea Mud Belt (SCOPE)


​This research has been carried under the Geological Survey Ireland 2017 Short Call. This call provided funding for researchers in academia or industry on the island of Ireland for projects of less than 12 months duration and less than €25,000. 

Please note that the final report has been redacted to remove staff, financial and sensitive information. Some file sizes have been reduced to allow easier uploading/downloading, higher quality files are available on request. Supplemental information is also available on request in most cases. Please contact research[AT]

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and not of Geological Survey Ireland or the Department of Climate Action, Communications and Environment.

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