The Geological Survey Ireland Tellus team joined contractors from Aurum Exploration for a sunny day of soil sampling training in Bunratty on Wednesday, 7 June.
The day started with talks from Jim Hodgson from Tellus and Johnny Meehan from Aurum which highlighted the commitment to scientific rigour and the importance of health and safety. The new recruits were also given the wider context of how the data collected will be used and why this is important. The soil samplers were taught by Aurum Project Manager Judith Mather how to collect in situ samples. Judith demonstrated the techniques necessary to collect adequate samples which are both representative of the surrounding area and free from contamination (more information is available about sampling techniques here).
Starting from next week, the samplers will work on this year's project area, which is the latest phase in the geochemistry mapping of Ireland. They will be in counties Clare, Limerick, Tipperary and parts of Kerry, Cork, Galway, Offaly and Waterford over the coming months.
Run by Geological Survey Ireland, the Tellus survey aims to collect comprehensive geochemical and geophysical data on rocks, soil and water across Ireland. Through analysis of the collected samples, we can improve the accuracy of geological maps and assess various aspects such as environmental health, soil nutrients, and trace elements. The survey results can help determine regional variations in soil properties, which have a direct impact on soil fertility and grass yields, making it especially beneficial for local agricultural communities. All information gathered through the survey will be made freely available to the public via the website www.tellus.ie.
Image: Judith Mather instructing the samplers near Bunratty