Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Dublin Bay - UNESCO Biosphere

A UNESCO Biosophere designation has been extended to cover the whole of Dublin bay, not just the Bull Island - approximately 300 square kilometres. The announcement is available here at the RTE website. Having gone to school just up the road from here and spent lots of my childhood visiting grandparents beside the Bull Wall, I am very glad to hear it is being taken care of.



I was originally not sure what spatial extents they have assigned to the Biosphere - some of the imagery seems to imply that its limits were the entrance to the Liffey, south to Dun Laoghaire Harbour and North to the Bull Island, but certainly the Lord Mayor makes reference to Malahide as well in a number of press releases. I found a better map online that defines it fully.



It seems to have three zones, but four colours? It could just be the transparent yellow layer clashing with the underlying blue sea layer in the GIS. The core zone covers the inner bay and entrance to the Liffey, the coast at Howth and the wetlands/shore at Donabate. All beautiful areas that I have spent plenty of time over the years. It does not seem to extend North past Portmarnock so I do not think Malahide or the entrance to the Broadmeadow estuary is included.

The Dublin coast is particularly relevant to a number of projects I have been involved with:


  • I worked as a surveyor and GIS Analyst in a Dublin County Council for 4 years.
  • After I joined the NCG we carried out Mobile Mapping System LiDAR and imagery road surveys in the Port Tunnel and surrounding areas. 
  • We performed some coastal erosion surveys using UAVs in Portrane in early 2012
  • Tested photogrammetric methods to assess UAV accuracy during matching in featureless terrain along the Portmarnock beaches.
  • Dublin bay and the Bull Wall was the test bed for the early satellite bathymetry study which lead to the SFI Fellowship.  

Looks like there might be many more opportunities for non-invasive, non-contact survey methodologies (i,e. remote sensing and photogrammetry!!) to prove their worth in this area over the coming years.

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My name is Conor. I am a PostDoc and Lecturer. These few lines will (hopefully) chart my progress through academia and the world of research.