Irish Ground Instability

What is it?

Addresscloud’s Ground Instability Model of Ireland seeks to provide a score of the ground instability risk at the address or Eircode level across Ireland.

What ground instability features are accounted for?

Shrink swell clays A shrinking and swelling clay changes volume significantly according to how much water it contains, All clay deposits change volume as their water content varies, typically swelling in winter and shrinking in summer, but some do so to a greater extent than others, e.g. poorly drained clay soils
Mining Mining is the removal of material from the ground, we consider mining to relate to the removal of solid minerals. The ground surface may experience motion due to readjustments in the overburden if underground mine workings fail.
Compressible Ground Many ground materials contain water-filled pores (the spaces between solid particles). Ground is compressible if a load can cause the water in the pore space to be squeezed out, causing the ground to decrease in thickness, e.g. alluvium and peat
Landslide A landslide is a relatively rapid outward and downward movement of a mass of rock or soil on a slope, due to the force of gravity, This hazard is significant in surface deposits but may extend to more than 10 m depth. 
Ground dissolution Rocks and minerals are soluble in water and can be progressively removed by the flow of water through the ground, e.g. Karst and Carboniferous bedrock geology
Collapsible ground Collapsible ground comprises materials with large spaces between solid particles. They can collapse when they become saturated by water and a building (or other structure) places too great a load on it, e.g. sandy soils.
Made Made ground comprises of anthropogenic deposits of all kinds such as land reclamation, site and pad preparation by sand infill, road and rail embankments, levees and landfills for waste disposal.
Unknown These are areas of identified motion for which a geological interpretation cannot be found.
No Hazard Areas where no hazard has been previously identified or the surface does not fit with the current hazard descriptions

What is the source of the data?

The raw data has been sourced from Irish government and EU databases including but not limited to those provided by Geological Survey Ireland and Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency.

What is the currency of the data?

The data is composed of multiple datasets each with different publication dates, for example the EU data was published in 2012, Karst 2019, soils 2006,and Landslide data in 2016. 

How has the instability score been calculated?

Based on proven and industry accepted methodology from the British Geological Survey’s Geosure programme risk scores have been assigned to each of the various ground instabilities features within our model.  The ground instability features within 50m of every address across Ireland have been identified and a score calculated.  The higher the score the greater the ground instability risk, the risk score being a combination of the number of instability features around an address and their respective risk scores.

Irish Ground Instability coverage map

How many addresses are covered at each score?

The table below shows the distribution of scores across Ireland for each of the scores calculated.

Note: if you are receiving a null score for instability this will mean that there is currently no known instability for that location at this point in time. We are not saying that there is no risk. Just no known risk as of the date the address has been checked.

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