Saturday, January 20, 2018

100 years of Coastal Erosion in Co. Wexford

The Irish Ordinance Survey has a really cool tool, called GeoHive, where you can overlay old maps with modern aerial photography. I have written here before about coastal erosion near our house in Co Wexford, and next week some local residents are meeting to see if we can get some erosion protection works done. Ahead of this I used GeoHive to generate the following image:

Click Image to Enlarge.
The overlay on top of the aerial photo is from the 1888-1913 25 inch map, and it illustrates how much of the coastline has been washed away in just 100 years. I have pointed out where the coastline was in 1988-1913 - this is directly opposite our house. To the left of this is the beach today, (running from top to bottom of photo) with the coastline clearly visible as a band of bushes to the left of this. The area to the bottom right, called "Pattern Green", is almost completely gone today - indeed the last house (at the 7 o'clock position under the "G" of "Pattern Green") made the news two years ago after it was washed into the sea. The photo above must be a few years old, as there has been much more of the coast eroded since it was taken.

The good news is that at the rate of erosion illustrated by my image above, my house will not be washed into the sea for another 100 years!  The bad news is that erosion has accelerated over the past few years and affects the value of every house that you can see above. There's no stopping Mother Nature, and we cannot predict what will happen over the next few years - will Mother Nature use Global Warming to pick away at more of Co Wexford's coast?

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