EAGE Conference Sept 2009

Prestigious Science Conference Visits Ireland for First Time - EAGE Press Release, 4 Sept 2009
300 leading scientists from all over Europe will converge on Dublin this weekend for a conference that will celebrate cutting-edge Irish geological research. “Near surface geophysics” might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for the scientists involved it is an important component in Ireland’s recent infrastructural development. It involves the extensive study of the earth that lies immediately underground. The conference, being hosted in Trinity College Dublin, will highlight various Irish projects and methodologies spread across a range of sectors including engineering, environment and archaeology.

Irish scientists are recognised right around Europe as leaders in the field of near surface geophysics. That’s according to the minister who will open the conference, Conor Lenihan, Minister of State with special responsibility for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources. “The range and quality of Irish research in this area has encouraged the conference organisers – the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers - to select Ireland to host the conference for the very first time”, he said.

In explaining the importance of near surface geophysics to Ireland, conference organiser, Peter O’Connor, refers to the unprecedented nature of Ireland’s infrastructural and industrial development over the last decade. Much of this has required large scale ground investigation studies, he says. “These studies now make use of near surface geophysics techniques to help us gain a more detailed understanding of the underlying environment of the site, for example, how sound it is for its planned purpose.” If the science is not good he says, then the siting of the development in a particular location might not be appropriate.

Ireland’s two biggest near surface geophysics projects will be presented at the conference in great detail. These are the INFOMAR and TELLUS projects. The former refers to Ireland’s seabed survey that is currently concentrating on mapping the shallow seabed surrounding Ireland. The Tellus project was a recent airborne geophysical study of the earth across Northern Ireland. It collected scientific data on rocks and minerals which will help manage the environment and support sustainable natural resource development.

All in all, the three day conference, commencing on Monday 7th September, will celebrate some of the best science available in Ireland today.