While some turlough systems posing a flood risk are relatively well understood, there is limited hydrogeological knowledge on the majority of Irish karst groundwater flow systems. Hydrometric data is a crucial component to addressing this knowledge gap and to develop an understanding of these complex groundwater flow systems. Thus a primary objective of this project is to establish a monitoring network to provide key baseline data for flood risk management applications.
The first phase of monitoring is underway and we have installed over 60 exploratory monitoring stations at priority sites across the country. These stations are measuring depth, temperature, and in some cases, conductivity to provide the high quality data needed for assessing flood behaviour. However, it is not feasible to monitor every groundwater flood directly and so we are using satellite imagery to regularly image flood extents and estimate flood depth. These satellite images also allow us to view historic flooding at sites which previously had no monitoring equipment.