Geology Matters No.1, Winter 2004

  Geology Matters
The Newsletter of the Geological Survey of Ireland
Nuachtlitir Suirbhéireacht Gheolaíochta Éireann
Issue No. 1, Winter 2004

  Contents

Reaching Out

Director's Discourse

EU Landscapes for Living Website

New GSI Publications

Agenda

Gold in Ireland

Profile

DuNoyer Geological Photography Competition

National Working Group on Landslides

Irish National Seabed Survey

Events Guide

Reaching Out 
This newsletter is a development for the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI). GSI has always reached out to its customers and to new audiences in to inform and provide news of its events, activities and publications in different ways. Until now, this has generally been in an unstructured way, as opportunities have arisen, and as different staff within each section have responded to those opportunities. It has often been driven from within the GSI’s work programmes rather than from a corporate GSI wide perspective.

Following an internal review of all activities that we call outreach, which includes talks, field trips, articles written for trade and other journals, as well as our Customer Centre and enquiry service, GSI’s Senior Management and Heads of Sections agreed that a more strategic approach was needed to communicate both what we do in GSI and its importance to society. This newsletter is an important strand of our outreach activities.

How to ensure that you receive your
copy of subsequent issues of
Geology Matters
Send your e-mail address to:
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Fax: (01) 668 1782
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After this initial issue, which is being produced in conjunction with The Sherkin Comment , GSI News will normally be a web delivered frequent update for existing and new customers on what is going on in GSI, new directions and developments, specific projects, new products and services and notice of events and activities of potential interest to you the reader. You will be sent an e-mail informing you of new issues of GSI News and a hotlink (URL) to the newsletter on the GSI website. It will be available as a pdf download on the GSI website to those who have provided their e-mail addresses. In addition, a small number of printed copies will be available at the Customer Centre at the GSI’s offices in Beggars Bush.

Further details of how to ensure you receive this newsletter regularly are in the centre box on this page or on http://www.gsi.ie/.

Lastly, as this is a new venture, the GSI would welcome any feedback about GSI News. Comments, observations and criticism or offers of contributions may be sent to: The Editors, GSI News, Beggars Bush, Haddington Road, Dublin 4.

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Director’s Discourse
Peadar McArdle

The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) prides itself in being a customer focused and friendly organisation. It is constantly striving to be of greater relevance to its extensive client base and to inform them of its work and developments within and affecting the organisation. It also listens to its customers. It is with this latter comment that GSI News has come about and I have great pleasure in welcoming this the first GSI Newsletter. We intend to publish the Newsletter three times a year in January, June and October with the GSI Annual Report being produced in or around April each year.

While GSI News is intended to inform our wide client base with news and information from the GSI we will also welcome and publish comment and observations on anything within the Newsletter and about the GSI. For example, a comment on how we are carrying out a particular work programme or asking why we aren’t involved in some area of geology.

We want this Newsletter to be distributed as widely as possible and to this end we are developing it on the GSI’s website. It is not intended to have a large costly print run. However, for this first edition we are distributing it with The Sherkin Comment whose assistance we are pleased to acknowledge.



For future editions we will send an e-mail to those who wish to receive GSI News with a hot link to the newsletter which will be on the GSI website.

If you wish to receive this e-mail please let us know so that we can ensure that you do indeed receive notification of subsequent editions. If you would prefer not to receive e-mails advising you of subsequent editions please let us know and we will remove your e-mail address from the group email.

PLEASE remember that if you change your
e-mail address to let us know so that we can keep our records up to date.

I hope you find the Newsletter both informative and interesting and that you consider it a useful addition to our range of services.

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EU Landscapes for Living Website launched

EU As a contribution to mark the Irish Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2004 and the expansion of the EU with 10 new Accession States formally joining in May 2004, a new website has been created to showcase the geological landscape highlights of each country. Each country’s Geological Survey has contributed stunning pictures of both typical and special landscapes in each country.

See http://www.gsi.ie/under Geology for Everyone, and Europe’s Landscapes for Living.



New GSI Publications

A Master Class Guide to the Granites of Donegal by W.S. Pitcher and D.H.W. Hutton, 2003
This Guide was launched at the Irish Geological Research Meeting in NUI Galway last February. Professor Pitcher was present at this occasion, which marked a significant addition to the range of fieldguides available for Ireland. The Guide is purpose written to cater for professional and amateur geologist visitors, with 8 day- long excursions to the best localities. Not only does this guide bring us up to date on work since the classic work by Pitcher and Berger, making the Donegal Granites world famous, but it is accompanied by the original map that accompanied that book. Professor Pitcher generously donated his remaining supply of these maps to be a partner to the new Guide. The Guide is available through the GSI Customer Centre at a very reasonable price of only €20.
Editors Note: Since the writing of this article we have been informed of the death of Professor Pitcher.



Granites of Donegal
The Valentia Tetrapod Trackway
by Matthew Parkes
The GSI has published a 16 page full colour A5 booklet on this very important site on Valentia Island in County Kerry. It is written and illustrated to explain the scientific importance of the site in an accessible way, so if you have no geological training you should still be able to understand it fully. It explores the life and times of the tetrapod that left its footprints in the silt and sand of a coastal floodplain 385 million years ago. It explains how we know how old the trackway is and its importance as the oldest in situ evidence of the major evolutionary step for vertebrates – breathing air out of water. Before that all known vertebrates were living as fish in aquatic environments.
The guide will help you find the trackway and gives valuable hints about the best times to see them, as they are quite subtle features – first recognised by a student geologist in 1992. It costs only €2 from the Customer Centre. At certain outlets the text will also be made available as a translation into French, Spanish and German.
Valentia Island
New teaching resource for second level schools
Brian McConnell, Bedrock Section

A new syllabus for the Geography Leaving Certificate, to be introduced in September 2004, gives greater emphasis to geology and the geological processes that have shaped the landscape. To support teachers in presenting the geological content to the classroom, the GSI has produced a new 1:1,000,000 scale map of the bedrock geology of the island of Ireland and an accompanying book.

It is hoped that these products will give an increased awareness of the importance of geological processes, rocks and minerals, to everyday life. As such they relate to Core Unit 1 of the new syllabus ‘Patterns and Processes in the Physical Environment’. They should also prove to be a useful resource in relation to students taking GCSE Geology at ‘A/AS’ levels in Northern Ireland.

The map presents the bedrock of Ireland in about 20 units based on geological period and main rock types. The legend is in the form of a geological timescale, showing the time represented by each unit, the tectonic events responsible for the gaps, with environments of deposition of the sedimentary units. Marginal photographs give examples of Irish landscapes in which the rock type is a dominant feature. The map has already been widely distributed at the Young Scientist Exhibition.

The book, entitled “Understanding Earth processes, rocks and the geological history of Ireland” uses the geology of Ireland to explain rock and landscape forming processes. Study Boxes highlight key processes and modern analogues relevant to each phase of Ireland’s history, so that the student can recognise geological processes in the rocks around them.

The book is written primarily as a resource for teachers, but will also be of interest to more enquiring students, or indeed members of the general public who would like to know more about rocks and the origins of the landscapes of Ireland. With industry sponsorship a free copy of the map and book will be distributed to each second level school in the Republic of Ireland. Additional copies can be purchased from GSI from September.

In addition in response to requests, GSI has made available a less detailed version of the schools geology map at A4 size for download from the website.

Schools Book
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Agenda: Decentralisation

The Minister of Finance announced in his budget speech of 3rd December 2003 the intention of government to decentralise many government Departments and Agencies to locations outside of Dublin. In January 2004 it was confirmed that the GSI would relocate to Cavan along with its parent Department – the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.

The programme of decentralisation is scheduled to take up to three years to complete. While many facets of the programme are as yet unknown there are a number of aspects that have been determined and may be of interest to our client base.

1. The Office of Public Works canvassed for sites for the decentralised offices and agencies. Some thirteen sites in Cavan were offered and these are being assessed for their suitability at present.
2. It is likely that new office accommodation will have to be built to accommodate the Department in Cavan.
3. It is possible that a campus style complex will be built for the Department with specific buildings assigned to particular sectors or business units of the Department..
4. Staff will have the opportunity to move to their current job in Cavan or to express a preference for an ‘equivalent’ job in any of the other locations.
5. The staffing process is being handled by the Civil Service and Local Appointments Commissioners centrally through a system similar in many ways to the CAO scheme for applications to third level education. An initial report on the CAF process (released in July of this year) indicates that for 378 available posts, a total 0f 120 applications were received, including 11 from existing members of the Departemnt. There are no figures available for the GSI alone.
6. Many aspects of the decentralisation programme are being handled by an Implementation Group set up by government especially for the task. This Group is headed by Mr. Phillip Flynn and to date they have produced two reports. A third report is due in the autumn in which it is expected that the scheduling of moves will be addressed.

While a number of uncertainties remain, decentralisation offers the GSI many opportunities. We are of course aware that there are threats in the whole process and recognise that individuals have difficult decisions to make in relation to decentralisation in the coming months. We will keep you informed of developments as they arise.

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Gold in Ireland
Gerry Stanley
Head, Minerals Programme

The metal gold has held men’s and women’s fascination for millennia. Today the quest for gold continues mainly through the exploration efforts of both major and junior mining companies. The latter tend to be exploration companies only, entrepreneurial in nature and innovative in their thinking on where and how to find the precious metal.

Gold artefacts and objects are well known from Ireland and the National Museum has a wonderful collection, many of which are on permanent display in the Museums galleries in Kildare Street. There has been a great deal of speculation on the source of the gold used in the crafting of these objects. One recent theory as explored on a BBC television programme is that the gold came from the Croagh Patrick region. Gold was discovered, or perhaps rediscovered, on the slopes of Croagh Patrick in the 1980s by Tara Exploration and explored further by Burmin. A spectacular gold specimen was discovered in the late 1980s in West Wicklow by Cualan Mining (Figure 1).

Gold
Figure 1. Sample with gold from West Wicklow (photograph courtesy of Exploration and Mining Division, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources). Arrows point to the visible gold.

The results of this study are available on CD free of charge. A copy of the CD may be obtained by contacting Irene Hogan at the GSI.

Telephone: (01) 678 2751
Fax: (01) 678 2589
mailto:irene.hogan@gsi.ie
Post: Geological Survey of Ireland
Beggars Bush
Haddington Road
Ballsbridge
Dublin 4















Exploration for the yellow metal was spurred on by the discoveries of the mid 1980s by small entrepreneurial Irish mining companies. Interest waned when the price for the metal declined and over the decision to withdraw the Prospecting Licence over the Croagh Patrick area.

Over the past year or so the price of gold has increased resulting in a world wide renewed effort to find further resources of the metal. Ireland has joined this latter day gold rush rather late but there has been increased activity over the past 12 months. This increased activity has led the GSI to review possible gold deposits underlying the Irish landscape.

This review was carried out taking into account the new ideas that have emerged on the origins of gold deposits in the two decades since the last Irish gold exploration boom. The review has also taken advantage of advances in technology in the period particularly in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.

The review considered nine gold deposit types

  • Orogenic gold deposits
  • Volcanogenic associated massive sulphide gold deposits
  • Intrusion related gold deposits
  • Iron oxide copper gold deposits
  • Skarn gold deposits
  • Sedimentary (Carlin) gold deposits
  • Witwatersrand gold deposits
  • Epithermal gold deposits
  • Porphyry Cu – Au deposits

In the analysis it was considered that seven of these had potential to occur in Ireland. The results were produced in map format through ArcGIS using the Geological Survey’s recently compiled seamless geology map of Ireland. Input parameters to interrogate the geology map were the principal features of each deposit type. A summary of the results is shown in Table 1 while Figures 2 and 3 show the results for Orogenic Type and Skarn gold deposits respectively. The total area of prospective ground is estimated at 28,000 square kilometres or some 40% of the land area of the country.
The study results are being disseminated on a CD produced jointly with the Exploration and Mining Division of the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. The CD contains references to gold in Ireland, maps showing the distribution of known gold localities as well as the paper on the Potential for Gold in Ireland referred to in this article.

Orogenic Gold potential Skarn gold potential
Figure 2. Orogenic gold potential in Ireland highlighted by the burgundy colour. Figure 3. Skarn related gold potential in Ireland highlighted by the red colour in Connemara and Donegal..

Deposit type

Area

Orogenic gold deposits

17,000km 2

Volcanogenic associated massive sulphide gold deposits

800km 2

Intrusion related gold deposits

500km 2

Iron oxide copper gold deposits

6,000km 2

Skarn gold deposits

500km 2

Sedimentary (Carlin) gold deposits

2,000km 2

Witwatersrand gold deposits

11,000km 2

Epithermal gold deposits

Low potential

Porphyry Cu – Au deposits

Low potential

Total (excluding overlapping areas)

28,000km 2

Table 1. Areas (km 2 ) of potential for 9 different gold deposit types.


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Profile
Each Newsletter will feature a profile of one section or programme within GSI, giving a slightly expanded view of the work of the section, focusing on its relevance to society. This issue looks at the Irish Geological Heritage Section (IGH).
By Matthew Parkes

Irish Geological Heritage Section
Although outreach activities take place in all sections of the GSI, the IGH Programme is probably the main focus of effort in meeting the fourth strategic Goal of the organisational strategy:
To promote public understanding of the role of GSI and geology in Irish Society

NHA selection
The primary ongoing work of the IGH Section is to identify and select the most important geological and geomorphological sites on a national network basis, and to propose them for designation as Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs). The designation will be done by our partners, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) in the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. This work is undertaken by GSI, aided by an Expert Panel for each theme, of as many acknowledged experts in the particular theme as it is possible to include. This includes in many panels, researchers based in the UK or internationally, who are focused upon Irish rocks in their research.

The best representative sites to demonstrate each theme are considered, along with any of a unique or exceptional nature and any of international importance to the science. Only the minimum number necessary to illustrate the particular type of geology will be selected as NHAs. Often the same site may be considered under 2 or more themes, reinforcing the case for its selection.

County Geological Sites (CGS)
The concept of County Geological Sites was put forward by the IGH programme back in about 1998 for the National Heritage Plan and it was adopted in the final Plan. These sites are non statutory, but have an element of local democracy involved in that whatever recommendations made by GSI may be modified or added to by local consultation on the County Development Plan (CDP). Sites are listed in the CDPs, and therefore included in the planning system and can not be destroyed or built on without at least an opportunity for consultation. Many CGS proposed by GSI are of national importance but may not be the very best example put forward for NHA designation. Others may be only of county importance scientifically but may be important for educational or amenity reasons.

At this stage a majority of local authorities have had some input from GSI on the CGS to include in the CDPs as they have come around for revision. However, the level of coverage and range of sites included has varied depending on the timing of the request and the available data at that stage of the IGH Programme work.

Recent developments have seen the local authorities place more value on the data they require, such that partial funding for a Temporary Geological Assistant to work on the individual county has been provided by Sligo and Carlow Councils, assisted by Heritage Council funding to support the Heritage Plan actions. Claire McAteer assisted Matthew Parkes with these counties and has just returned to work on a new commissioned project of similar type for County Clare.

This increasing involvement with local authorities, in Heritage and Planning Sections is a most welcome engagement, and is likely to grow in the near future.

Archives
The IGH Programme looks after the more historical material archives of the GSI which is of course a recognised Repository of the National Archives. As well as an ongoing enquiry service, dealing with various requests for access or reproduction, we monitor the environment and conservation condition of the records and their storage. However, the primary focus of current work is to expand the cataloguing work already undertaken by Jean Archer and Margaret Mary O’Mahoney in past years. In particular the older Wordperfect catalogues are being replaced by Excel spreadsheet formats which will allow the catalogue to be loaded into the Document Management System in the future, enabling far greater access to some little known treasures. Petra Coffey is working on a TGA contract on this project. It is also intended to put some image content on the GSI website of Archive highlights like the George Victor du Noyer print collection.

Collections
The fossil collection and the extensive rock collections of the GSI also are part of IGH work, but receive little attention at present due to other priorities. It is anticipated that the prospective move to Cavan will generate considerable logistical difficulty with the collections and appropriate storage in a new headquarters. However, if it takes place, the move should be preceded by a proper assessment of all the collections and their cataloguing into a modern system, as the present situation is far from adequate.

Schools
A limited number of school visits to GSI are catered for, with talks and hands–on sessions with rocks, fossils and minerals. These have proved very popular and feedback suggests they are well received. The experience gained is useful in designing resources for a wider audience.

ES2k
The IGH Programme is now a significant contributor to Earth Science 2000 (ES2k) which is a broad organisation aimed at raising awareness of the importance of earth science. Involvement in this group has seen it raise its perspective to the whole of Ireland, rather than just the northern part. GSI (as well as GSNI) have become additional supporters, as has the Heritage Council.

The first magazine of the expanded body has just been issued and can be obtained free from GSI. Sophie Preteseille has also redesigned the ES2k website and adding material to it will continue as part of the Programme work.

http://www.habitas.org.uk/es2k

ES2k offers new possibilities to reach out to diverse audiences in partnership with geologists from many avenues of life that would not be feasible in GSI alone.

ES2k

Valentia
The Valentia Island Tetrapod Trackway site in Co Kerry has been a flagship project, even if a variety of factors have produced delays to the project conclusion. GSI recommended that the State purchase the site, because it is so important as the oldest in situ evidence of the evolutionary transformation of vertebrates from water environments into sometimes air breathing terrestrial ones. Here a tetrapod – a four footed animal – about a metre long walked over soft silt deposits left by a major flood event.

IGH input has been continued beyond the site purchase by the former Dúchas, with work on the design of the public access infrastructure, and interpretation material in the form of site panels, a leaflet and a booklet (see page 3). In addition casting of the trackway has been done with the aim of providing a touchable replica on site as part of the interpretation.

GSI website
Within IGH, Sophie Preteseille has worked on an entire redesign of the GSI website, which will provide a more functional modern website. This work, along with Information Management and members of the Web Group from throughout the GSI, should be completed soon. However, continued improvement of website content will be required, and the IGH content is critical in that. Data on website viewing suggest that the IGH pages are some of the most popular. Schools educational resources and virtual field trip guides are part of the material being added, with more planned. It should also help in reducing the number many of the more general enquiries that come in to GSI.

Heritage Week
GSI events such as guided walks are organised for Heritage Week each year in early September and co-ordinated from within the IGH section, though all staff may participate as leaders.

Heritage Week walk at the Copper Coast
Heritage Week walk at the Copper Coast, 5th September 2004

European Geoparks
John Morris, the Programme Manager has led the successful development of Interreg funded projects, leading to the development and ongoing work in the Copper Coast European Geopark, on the Waterford coast west of Tramore. In partnership with colleagues in GSNI, and Fermanagh District Council the Marble Arch Caves – Cuilcagh area has also been successful in gaining European Geopark status. Two other areas – the Burren and the Sneem district in Kerry are both aspiring to Geopark status (it is now also a UNESCO recognised award) with ongoing guidance from the GSI. The Copper Coast Project has now recruited a Geologist; Sophie Preteseille will be leaving the IGH Section to take up the position.

Breifne Mountains Project
The Project, again steered to a successful outcome by John Morris, is now up and running, but will be the subject of an article in future newsletters, as it is too significant a project to do justice in only a few lines.

Exhibitions
An effective way of raising awareness about geology and geological heritage has been the temporary exhibitions for display in GSI itself, and out at libraries, council offices and local museums. These are available for loan to any suitable venue, and content can be viewed on the website. New tailored exhibitions linked to county based projects are planned.

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DU NOYER GEOLOGICAL PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION
2004 

Entries are invited for the Sixth Du Noyer Geological Photography Competition

George Victor Du Noyer, who served as a geologist with the Geological Survey of Ireland from 1847 to 1869, was a skilled field artist whose numerous sketches and pictures, with their combination of artistic skill and technical accuracy, were the “field photographs” of their day. This competition seeks to encourage the same blend of artistic and scientific skills through the modern medium of photography. The photographs entered may be recently taken images but older, historical photographs, especially ones not in any archive and liable to be lost, would be welcomed and so conserved.


Entrants may submit photographs [prints, slides, digital images etc. are all acceptable] illustrating an aspect of field geology in one or more of the following categories:

1. Open category [photographs taken in Ireland]
2. Photographs by a person under 18 [photographs taken in Ireland]
3. Historical photographs [photographs of geological gatherings, persons etc. taken in past years]
4. Photographs taken overseas by geologists based in Ireland

Total prize money of €600 will be awarded over the three categories

All photographs entered must be clearly labelled with the following information:
Name, address, telephone number, fax, Email of entrant/photograph, Short title/ description of geological/historical content of photographs
Place and Date when taken, Category being entered,
[please write on a label and stick it onto the back of the photographs]

The competition will be judged by a panel including representatives of the IGA, the GSI and external nominees and their decision will be final. Entries will be exhibited and prizes awarded at the GSI Awards ceremony in December. Entries will be returned after the competition but a digital copy will be retained by GSI and may be used (the author will be credited) in future publications. Entries should be sent to: The General Office, Geological Survey of Ireland, Beggars Bush, Haddington Rd, Dublin 4. and the envelope marked “Du Noyer Competition”

The closing date for entries for the sixth [2004] competition is:
Friday, 19th November, 2004

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National Working Group on Landslides

Background to the Group
Recent landslide and related ground motion events in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe have drawn attention to the increased incidence of such hazards and stimulated debate on their possible causes. The geological community in Europe has recently started major new initiatives concerning geohazards. EuroGeoSurveys and the European Federation of Geologists are both setting up expert groups on geohazards to lobby and advise the EU in the context of the Safety of the Citizen initiative.

In Ireland a number of national agencies, professional bodies, and private sector organisations have capabilities which can contribute to the study of these events. The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) proposed the establishment of a Working Group on landslides in Ireland in late 2003, which met first in January 2004. The aim is to draw together the various national skills to document past events, examine landslide mechanisms, and assess landslide risk in Ireland.

Current GSI capability and action on Landslides
The GSI currently has limited expertise in the area of landslides, though it does intend to recruit an Engineering Geologist to expand its Geotechnical Programme. The GSI sees itself well-placed as the national earth science agency to develop a capability in, and coordinate a national initiative on landslides with outside experts and other interested parties in Ireland. The GSI would also hope to learn from the European experience through its linkages with the initiatives mentioned above.

The GSI has commenced building a database on past landslide events in Ireland and is establishing reference lists for landslides in Ireland and elsewhere, as well as landslide mechanisms and risk assessment. It is also developing a web interface for data on landslides in Ireland. The GSI has had some involvement with the recent landslides in Ireland. It completed a geological report on the Pollatomish landslides and also visited the Derrybrien location.

The National Working Group on Landslides:

Terms of reference
1. All types of slope instability would be encompassed within the term “landslide”. These would include landslides, debris flows, peat slides, bogbursts, rockfalls etc.
2. Advise on composition and terms of reference of the Working Group
3. Advise and assist in the development of a Landslides database for Ireland
4. Devise a landslides classification scheme for Ireland
5. Advise on liaison with and involvement of other agencies and individuals
6. Advise on landslide susceptibility mapping and landslide risk assessment in Ireland
7. Produce a report on landslides in Ireland
8. Advise on the onward strategy concerning landslide hazard in Ireland.

Current composition
• Chair – Dr. Patrick O’Connor, Principal Geologist, GSI
• GSI - Dr. Ronnie Creighton, Senior Geologist, Quaternary & Geotechnical Section
• Mr. Koen Verbruggen, Senior Geologist, Information Management Section
• Christine Colgan – Researcher in GIS & landslides, GSI/NUIG
• Eric Farrell - Civil Engineering TCD
• Mike Long - Civil Engineering UCD
• Pete Coxon - Geography TCD
• Robbie Meahan & Ray Fealy - Teasgasc , Kinsealy
• Tiernan Henry - Earth & Ocean Sciences, NUIG
• Aileen Doyle – Planning Do EHLG
• Ken Gavin – Geotechnical Society of Ireland – IEI
• Associate members include:
The Institute of Geologists in Ireland (IGI) and Met Eireann.

Possible outputs include
1. Database on landslides in Ireland
2. Booklet / report on landslides in Ireland
3. Landslide susceptibility mapping for a pilot area.
4. Catalogue of relevant Irish references and research.

Landslide in Mayo
Landslide at Dooncarton, Co. Mayo, 2003

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Irish National Seabed Survey
Schools Programme
The Irish National Seabed Survey (INSS) is the world’s largest marine survey. Managed by the GSI in co-operation with the Marine Institute, it is a seven-year €32m government funded project designed to help us understand the nature of Ireland’s seabed. Further information about it will be provided in a supplement to The Sherkin Comment next year.

This supplement will form part of a comprehensive schools programme being launched in GSI later this month. The centrepiece of the programme is an exhibition, which simply and colourfully explains the INSS and its activities. Resident in GSI for a few months at first it will then become a touring exhibition in libraries throughout the country. As well as more than 30 panels we have presentation cases showing rocks taken from the seabed, old scuba diving gear, corals etc. and a television clip featured on Scope (a sience programme aimed at school students) on RTE television last year.

Along with the exhibition we have a schools lecture programme (initially limited to Dublin), which involves a children’s presentation on the INSS and our oceans presented by staff from the GSI Marine Section. We also have folders with easy-to-read brochures and colourful imagery for all children attending the exhibition or presentations (also available by post from Enda Gallagher at enda.gallagher@gsi.ie or (01) 678 2834). Also part of the programme will be an exhibit stand at next year’s RDS Young Scientist’s Exhibition, and an amateur documentary film of 30-40 minutes duration taken on board the Celtic Explorer (the main survey ship, owned by the Marine Institute) this year.

Oceanology Conference in London, March 2004
Seabed survey staff and visitors on St Patrick’s Day at the recent Oceanology Conference in London, March 2004. During the week long international conference some 2000 people had the opportunity to learn about the work of the Seabed Survey.

Annual Seminar
The annual seminar detailing progress and achievements of the Irish National Seabed Survey will be held on November 5th in Galway Bay Hotel, Galway. It is to be held in conjunction with the International Hydrographic Society’s prestigious biennial conference, being held for the first time in Ireland. The seminar, which normally attracts upwards of 70 delegates, will consequently have a larger international audience than normal this year. The seminar, an all day event, is free, and open to all. Please register by contacting Enda Gallagher at enda.gallagher@gsi.ie or 01 678 2834.

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Events Guide 

30th September – Ulster Museum, 6:30pm ES2K AGM.

4th October – Dublin Castle – GeoHazards Conference run by IGI sponsored by GSI and GSNI.

4th-7th October - GSI Lecture Theatre, GSI-run Site Suitabiility Course in Wastewater Management.

18th-22nd October – GSI Lecture Theatre – European Health & Safety week (various events at various times).

26th-28th October - EPA Wexford, GSI-run Site Suitabiility Course in Wastewater Management.

27th October – GSI Lecture Theatre, 2pm – Lecture by Pat O’Connor, GSI: “Contamination of soils and streams as a consequence of mining activities at Silvermines, Co. Tipperary”.

2nd-4th November – Galway Bay Hotel – Hydro04 Conference.

11th November – RDS, 6.30pm – John Jackson Lecture, by Donal Daly, GSI: “Making Geology relevant to People in Ireland – The Role of Groundwater”.

5th November – Galway Bay Hotel – Irish National Seabed Survey, Annual Seminar (see news item).

9th December – GSI Lecture Theatre, 2pm – Lecture by Ralph Horne, GSI: “The Antartic”.

10th December – GSI Lecture Theatre, 1pm – The Cunningham Awards (geology prizes) and Du Noyer Photographic Competition Display.

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