Irish islands remapped after 106 years

Ireland's island-strewn Clew Bay has been re-mapped - after 106 years.

Ireland's island-strewn Clew Bay has been re-mapped - after 106 years.

The new chart of the picturesque Co Mayo location off Westport, which is overlooked by Croagh Patrick, was unveiled today to replace one produced by the British Admiralty back in 1896.

It has been drawn up by an Australian company as part of an on-going €27m survey of the seabed.

The Tenix LADS corporation used state-of-the-art laser airborne hydrographic mapping technology to prepare the map in a two-day operation carried out in June.

The device was mounted on the base of a small aircraft to measure the depth of the sea beneath the plane flying at a height of 500 metres, at a rate of a square kilometre a minute.

The overall seabed operation is being conducted by the Geological Survey of Ireland.

Director Peadar McArdle said until the Clew Bay move, ships had been used for data-acquisition in deeper waters, but added: “Coming closer to the seashore, aircraft offer potential time and economic savings over ships.”

At the launch of the chart in Dublin was Westport Harbour Authority chairman Michael Moran.

He said “It gives us a clearer picture of the approaches to the harbour and the texture of the seafloor.

“An accurate understanding of the seafloor is very important today, with ever-increasing traffic, both commercial and leisure, entering our ports.”

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