• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

First 3D map to be created of seabed on west coast

Work has started to create a first 3D map of part of the seabed along the west coast of Scotland.

Marine ecologists and oceanographers from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) are carrying out a four-week survey to check the condition of the water and improve scientific understanding of the environment.

Data and samples will be collected from locations along the west coast by the scientists on board the Sir John Murray survey vessel.

The boat is fitted with underwater HD cameras and a scanner which will allow the team to create maps of the various habitats and physical features found on the seabed.

The work will allow delicate environments to be better preserved while still letting people use coastal areas, Sepa said.

The first two weeks of the survey will see the Sir John Murray operating in Loch Linnhe and Loch Tuath, in Argyll, with the second half of the survey carrying out mapping and sampling work in Skye and the Western Isles.

Senior scientist David Ross said: "The survey is an exciting opportunity to really broaden our scientific knowledge of these coastal environments.

"We take what we can see in the world around us for granted, however until now getting maps and broad-scale knowledge of what lies beneath the waves has always been difficult.

"Using this data, we can better balance people's desire to use Scotland's coastal resources, with protection of these delicate ecosystems."

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks welcomed the surveys.

He said: "Scotland's seas and coasts are home to an amazing range of wildlife, but we need to see action to halt and then reverse the declining health of our marine environment."

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.