The purpose of this digital dataset is to provide accurate mapping of the distribution of sea-bed sediment types. Sea-bed sediments can only be mapped offshore, where the most recent deposits commonly form a veneer or superficial layer of unconsolidated material on the sea-bed. The dataset is produced for use at 1:250,000 scale. The boundaries between sediment classifications or types are delineated using sample station particle size analyses and descriptions, seafloor topography derived from shallow geophysical data and where available multibeam bathymetry and backscatter and side scan sonar profiles. The sediment types present on the sea-bed are of importance to a range of groups, including marine habitat mappers, marine spatial planners, the offshore construction and development sector, and the dredging and aggregate industries. These groups require detailed information on the nature of the sea-bed, including the sediment types present. The DiGSBS250k dataset has been created as vector polygons and are available in a range of GIS formats, including ArcGIS (.shp), ArcInfo Coverages and MapInfo (.tab). More specialised formats may be available but may incur additional processing costs.
The Marine Hard Substrate dataset maps areas of rock or hard substrate outcropping or within 0.5m of the sea-bed. The interpretation was based on a variety of data sourced from within the British Geological Survey and externally. Data consulted includes archive sample and seismic records, side scan sonar, multibeam bathymetry and Olex datasets. The distribution of hard substrate at the seabed, or within 0.5 m is important in dictating the benthic assemblages found in certain areas. Therefore, an understanding of the distribution of these substrates is of primary importance in marine planning and designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) under the Marine and Coastal Access Act, 2009. In addition, a number of other users will value these data, including marine renewable companies, aggregate companies, the fishing and oil and gas industries. In order to address this issue it was necessary to update British Geological Survey sea-bed mapping to delineate areas where rock, boulders or cobbles are present at, or within 0.5m of the sea-bed surface. A polygon shape file showing areas of rock or hard substrate at, or within 0.5m of the sea-bed has been developed. The dataset has been created as vector polygons and are available in a range of GIS formats, including ArcGIS (.shp), ArcInfo Coverages and MapInfo (.tab). More specialised formats may be available but may incur additional processing costs.