A key contract has been awarded for the capture of high-resolution lidar Geo-data along Ireland’s southern and western coastline to create a detailed 3D elevation model.

Fugro lidar point cloud Geo-data of Ireland’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Skellig Michael (Scellig Mhichil in Irish)

The project, awarded to Fugro, has been commissioned by the Office of Public Works (OPW), the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland, to deliver a consistent, uniform and up-to-date baseline elevation model of this part of the Irish coast.

Climate change has resulted in rising sea levels and extreme storm events, which impact both built and natural coastal assets, and Fugro is well placed to support climate change adaptation projects for a safe and liveable world. The OPW has commissioned Fugro to deliver a baseline survey of 1798 km² of Ireland’s south and west coasts to identify areas at current or future risk of coastal change and flooding. Existing and future surveys can also be compared against this important baseline survey to facilitate enhanced risk assessment of coastal change at multiple scales from national to regional level.

While the Geo-data is primarily being captured to support OPW’s role in flood risk management, it is anticipated to also be a valuable resource for stakeholders including local authorities, consultants, researchers, third-level institutions, and those with responsibilities for the management of coastal environmental or heritage sites.

To ensure maximum coverage of the target area, Fugro is currently acquiring the lidar Geo-data using a specialist survey aircraft and high-resolution lidar sensor during low tide conditions.

By Jake Frith