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Soil Sealing in Ireland

The July Map of the Month looks at the important issue of soil sealing in Ireland. Soil sealing is where the ground is covered with an artificial impervious layer - such as concrete. The map was produced as part of the new Terrain-AI project.

View the map here: Soil Sealing in Ireland (PDF)

Cartographers: Stuart Green & Jesko Zimmermann

View previous Maps of the Months here

In the new Terrain-AI project we’ll be exploring the relationship between land use and green house gas emissions. One of the topics of interest is the area and location of soil sealing- this is where the ground is covered with an artificial impervious layer- such as concrete. This category include roads, buildings, yards, carparks and lots of other manmade structures. Having accurate up-to-date maps of the location and extent of soil sealing is important for lots of areas besides climate studies – such as weather forecasts and water quality studies.

According to the ESA Copernicus services Ireland has very low percentage of soils sealing, only 1.2% of the country compared to Germany which has the highest amount (5.1%). Here we map a simple first attempt at looking at the degree of soil sealing in country based on an analysis of the OSI Prime 2 data. The data is presented as the percentage of area sealed per square km.

In the coming months we will be improving on the estimates of sols sealing using satellites and new products from Copernicus and the OSI.