A major part of the HABMAP project was to
develop a model that used physical characteristics to predict the
biological community (biotope) on the seabed. (A biotope is a
combination of the physical characteristics of the seabed and the
group of species living there.) This was a four stage process that
involved collating physical and biological data, developing a
model, testing the model, and validating the outputs. This was a
new approach to mapping seabed habitats in the southern Irish
HABMAP modelling work was carried out during two project phases.
The original INTERREG funded project took place between 2004 and
2007, and a second extension phase took place between 2007 and
2010. The extension project aimed to refine the modelling work over
an extended project area that covered all of Welsh waters. Input
datasets used in both the original and extension projects are
Data was collated for the following physical factors:
- Seabed bathymetry
- Seabed sediment type
- Seabed temperature
- Seabed salinity
- Wave induced bed-sheer stress
- Tidally induced bed-sheer stress
- Light attenuation
Much of this data was supplied to the project under strict
licence conditions, so we may not be able to provide the datasets
to other individuals/organisations. Full details of the datasets
used by the project can be found in the HABMAP reports.
Biological (biotope) data was also collated from a variety of
sources. Some of this data was supplied under licence conditions
but most was collected by public bodies and will soon be available
A Geographical Information System containing data for the HABMAP
area for all of the datasets listed above has been created.
2010 Collation Maps
Bathymetry profile throughout the HABMAP project study area, derived from SeaZone Hydrospatial data (© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited. All rights reserved. Products Licence No. 042006.002) and the BGS DIGBATH250 dataset (supplied under License 2003/053 DB; British Geological Survey © NERC).
Mean light attenuation depth (to 1% of surface light) throughout the HABMAP study area, derived from ocean colour observations made by the SeaWiFs satellite (supplied under license to CCW by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory).
Maximum seabed temperature distribution throughout the extended HABMAP project study area, derived from Met Office data.
Minimum seabed temperature distribution throughout the extended HABMAP project study area, derived from Met Office data.
Mean seabed salinity values throughout the extended HABMAP study area, derived from point data supplied by ICES, the Environment Agency and the Marine Institute.
HABMAP Seabed Sediment map, based on the BGS Irish Sea Sediment map. (Portions of this figure have been reproduced from the British Geological Survey map data at the original scale of 1:250,000. Licence 2007/067 British Geological Survey. © NERC. All rights reserved). © Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Countryside Council for Wales, 100018813 .
Maximum tidally-induced bed sheer stress throughout the HABMAP project study area, derived from modelled data supplied by ABPmer and the British Oceanographic Data Centre.
Maximum wave-induced bed sheer stress (Nm-2) throughout the HABMAP project study area derived from SWAN modelling (Ireland) and reconstructed ProWAM modelling (Wales).
The British Geological Survey Irish Sea Bathymetry (DIGIBATH
250) dataset was used for the original project. This graded depths
at 10m intervals throughout the study area. The dataset (the 0-10m
band) was extended to meet the project coastline boundary where
this was not already the case. This dataset was supplied under
licence conditions. For more details see
For the extended project the SeaZone Hydrospatial bathymetry
dataset was used with additional data from multibeam surveys
incorporated where available.
Seabed sediment type
This dataset used a combination of British Geological Survey
data and maps derived from sediment data collected with biological
surveys. Where possible maps were created that split mixtures of
mud, sand, gravel and stones into a finer set of categories than
offered by the Folk scale used in the BGS maps. The BGS maps were
supplied under licence conditions. For more details see http://www.bgs.ac.uk/products/digitalmaps/seabed.html.
Bedstate data was compiled by the HABMAP project from a variety
of sources. However, these were not used in the final mapping
The seabed temperatures used within the original HABMAP
project were based on modelled data provided to the project by
Tomasz Dabrowski from the National University of Ireland, Galway
(Dabrowski, T., 2005. A flushing study analysis of selected Irish
waterbodies. PhD Thesis. Civil Engineering Department, National
University of Ireland, Galway. 411 pp.).
For the extension project Met Office data were used.
Point salinity values supplied by the Marine Institute and ICES
were interpolated into a continuous salinity grid for the study
area during the original project. (The raw data can be downloaded
from the respective organisation’s websites).
Additional data covering the Dee and Severn Estuaries was
supplied by the Environment Agency for the extension project.
Wave induced bed-sheer stress
Data for the wave-induced bed sheer stress layer used in the
original project was obtained from Dr. Simon Neill at the
University of Bangor. This was based on modelling of a dataset of
maximum predicted wave stress values based on data collected during
one whole year (2002).
For the extended project a new high‐resolution wave‐induced
bed‐sheer stress layer was developed as part of Task 2E of
the data layers project commissioned by DEFRA (MB0102 ‐
Accessing and developing the required biophysical datasets and
datalayers for Marine Protected Areas network planning and wider
marine spatial planning purposes. See http://randd.defra.gov.uk for
Tidally induced bed-sheer stress
Tidally induced bed-sheer stress data used in both the
original and extension projects were provided by ABPMer from a
tidal model with additional data from Professor Elliott at Bangor
Light attenuation data used in both the original and extension
projects were the same as those used by the UKSeaMap project
(original data supplied by Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory).
These data were supplied under licence conditions.