UKSeaMap 2016 - a broad-scale seabed habitat map for the UK



UKSeaMap 2016 has been generated by JNCC and is a by-product of the 2013-2016 activities of the EMODnet Seabed Habitats 2013-2016 consortium. It is a composite of two broad-scale habitat maps, arranged in the following priority order:

1.      A roughly 100 m* resolution broad-scale habitat map, which covers the majority of the UK shelf area (view/download on the EMODnet Seabed Habitats interactive map).

2.      EUSeaMap 2016, a coarser resolution** broad-scale habitat map, which covers all European seas (view/download on the EMODnet Seabed Habitats interactive map).

Both of these datasets have been created using identical methods; the only difference is in the resolution of the seabed substrate input data and the source and resolution of the depth data.

* 3 arc second = 93 m latitudinally by between 44 m (north) and 53 m (south) longitudinally

** 7.5 arc second = 232 m latitudinally by between 109 m (north) and 155 m (south) longitudinally



Classification system:


Input data layers:

  • Seabed substrate type
  • Depth to the seabed
  • Amount of light reaching the seabed
  • Wave disturbance at the seabed
  • Kinetic energy at the seabed caused by tidal currents and waves


  • Predictive seabed habitat map  
  • Confidence layers


A brief note on the justification for, and method used to construct UKSeaMap 2016 from the EMODnet Seabed Habitats outputs with be uploaded here in late 2017.
A full, detailed description of the method used to create the EMODnet Seabed Habitats broad-scale habitat maps can be found in the EUSeaMap technical report on the EMODnet Seabed Habitats website.


Photo taken by Sue Scott, MNCR Survey NW of Hoxa Head, Scapa Flow,



The UKSeaMap 2016 habitat map and associated confidence layers can be downloaded directly from this page.

Click to download the UKSeaMap 2016 habitat map.

(updated January 2017 )


Click to download the UKSeaMap 2016 confidence maps.

(updated January 2017 )

The two products that have been combined to form this product are also available to view and download on the EMODnet Seabed Habitats interactive map (links above).

The data is publicly available under the Open Government License v3.0.

Relationship to past projects

UKSeaMap 2016 superseded previous UK-wide broad-scale seabed habitat maps, including EUSeaMap 2012, UKSeaMap 2010, MESH 2008 and UKSeaMap 2006. It has built on the work of these projects and uses the most recent available data and methods.


For further information contact

Marine Evidence Team, JNCC