Quaternary and Geotechnical
The Quaternary and Geotechical Programme is involved in the following key initiatives:
The Quaternary Period spans approximately the last 2.6 Million years of Geological time. This Geological Period is divided into two Epochs, the Pleistocene (from 2.6 Million years ago until 11,700 years before present) and the Holocene (from 11,700 years ago until the present day). During the Pleistocene Epoch the action of ice from glaciations was the main process shaping the Irish landscape. The Holocene is considered an interglacial that marks the end of the last glaciation in Ireland. The shape of the Irish landscape has been influenced by both natural and anthropogenic (human) forces during this Epoch.

The Quaternary and Geotechnical Programme carries out basic mapping and database activities on the Quaternary sediments across the country. Since over 85% of the Irish land surface is covered by soft sediments of Quaternary age, the Programme has a very important role to play in GSI.

The Quaternary Programme holds digital Quaternary data for all of the country. All data has been compiled for use at the scale of 1:50,000. The data includes the Quaternary sediment map (delineating the different types of Quaternary units), Quaternary geomorphology map (showing the landscape features that developed in Ireland over the course of the Quaternary Period) and the Quaternary confidence map (showing different levels of confidence in the Quaternary sediment map). These data can be downloaded for use in GIS software

The National Geotechnical Borehole Database
The Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) holds the National Geotechnical Borehole Database. This database contains the reports of site investigation work undertaken to determine the ground conditions at the location of proposed development projects. The reports typically contain a text report and borehole, trial pit and probe logs, as well as field tests and laboratory sample analyses. The data is also very important for the modelling of the subsurface geology and in geological mapping of the overburden (Quaternary sediments) and the bedrock. The investigations are very expensive to undertake and should not be lost for posterity, and GSI provides a national repository for these reports.

The section is also involved in the research into and the analysis of geohazards in Ireland. It is heavily involved in the Irish Landslides Working Group. (See also Landslides for general information)

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