Pilot Project Funded:Shore Platforms

Investigation of Ireland’s Shore Platforms: Location, type and coastal protection.

This pilot study will evaluate the potential of platforms to buffer coasts from the storm wave hazard.


Examples of some of the common types of shore platform morphologies found on Ireland’s coast and which are not included in the general platform type morphology A- Dissected carboniferous sandstone platform with cave cut into the cliff on the Donegal coast. B- Stepped limestone platform on the west coast of Inish Mor. C- Washboard type platform at Myrtleville, Cork. D- shore platform and cliffs at Ballard Bay, near Kilkee on the west coast of Ireland. Cliffs are approximately 30m high. Image by N. Cullen.

Shore platforms provide important ecosystem services and are significant components of Ireland’s coastal systems. Yet there are no maps which identify their full distribution along Ireland’s 7,000 km coastline. New emerging evidence suggests that shore rock platforms may provide an  important role as they may help to slow rates of coastal retreat by attenuating wave energy and protecting the coastline cliffs from direct wave impact.

  1. Map the distribution of shore platforms.
  2. Collate platform types into a new classification system that is representative of Ireland’s high energy meso and macro tidal ranges. This classification will also be of global significance as it will extend the narrow range of platform types currently described.
  3. Conduct a pilot study to investigate the role that variable platform morphology has in effective attenuation of wave energy.

This Research is funded by the Geological Survey of Ireland research program (Short Calls).

Research Team:

Dr Bourke, Department of Geography, Trinity College, Dublin.

Dr Naylor,School of Geographical and earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

Ms Cullen, Department of Geography, Trinity College, Dublin.

Dr Pellicer, Geological Survey of Ireland.

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