Geoscience 2012
Geology Matters 12
Introduction BT Young Scientist Exhibition 2012 Mayo Earthquake Safe Cities Conference Volvo Ocean Race Minerals Research Initiative GSI Awards 2011 Dingle Peninsula Landslide Tellus Border Project Geoscience 2012 Dublin Surge Project Geoscience Ireland OneGeology Geological Photography Challenge Burren awarded Geopark Status Staff News New Publications

Geoscience 2012 
Michael Sheehy 

Geoscience 2012 took place in Dublin Castle on the 19 April this year. The conference included the Tellus Border Annual Technical Seminar, survey and research highlights from the INFOMAR project, and feedback on the Geoscience Initiatives including reports on applied projects and viewpoints representing industry and policy stakeholders. The wide range of societal benefits accruing from these disparate geoscience topics were showcased with a particular focus on the contribution of geoscience research to job creation. The conference’s topical focus ensured a large attendance and coverage by a variety of media.

Fergus O'Dowd T.D.
Fergus O’Dowd T.D., Minister for Natural Resources opening Geoscience 2012

The morning sessions covered the Tellus Border project in detail from several viewpoints giving flavours of the contribution these data are making to a diversity of sectors including agriculture, health, environment and resource development.

Talks of note from the afternoon session included two talks detailing how GSI data is brought to the end user through a range of innovative tools enabling the distribution and visualisation of Ireland’s geoscience data. These talks explored how new data on Ireland’s geological hazards and natural resources are made available in easy-to-use, new online applications. These datasets are viewable, downloadable and can be directly consumed via webservice. New tools include interactive visualisation functions enabling draping of datasets on a 3D landscape surface which can bring greater levels of context and meaning to users. Applications are targeted at specific end users to maximise economic and environmental benefits.

A key talk broadly covering the Irish groundwater protection sector addressed the topics of Groundwater Protection Schemes and other applications; groundwater management including the Water Framework Directive; and groundwater characterisation including national aquifer maps and research support. This talk usefully set out the roles and different areas of responsibility of an array of stakeholders.

The conference culminated in the unveiling of a major initiative to produce a new national Quaternary geology map of Ireland. The project involves the integration of all previously mapped GSI Quaternary field data, Teagasc subsoil data and GSI subsoil permeability data, as well as available information from consultant’s reports, academic papers and theses, and mapping projects, into a GIS. The integration of these data involves their re-interpretation into a consistent, seamless, national Quaternary classification schema. The results of a pilot study carried using Co. Mayo as a proof of concept test-bed, shows it is feasible to deploy the methodology employed on a national basis. Once complete national datasets including; Quaternary geomorphology; Quaternary sediment type; depth-to-bedrock; and depth-of-sediment strata will provide benefits to many geological services across all the sectors that depend on high quality Quaternary mapping.

The public lecture that followed the conference was given by Professor Bruce Hobbs, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. This was an entertainingly delivered story detailing the lessons learned on the perilous path required to take an idea from academic endeavour to commercial success.

Abstracts now available, Tellus talks at www.TellusBorder.eu and remainder on www.gsi.ie

Clare groundwater vulnerability map