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Tellus airborne survey touches down for 2015 in eastern Ireland

Tellus airborne survey touches down for 2015 in eastern Ireland

  • ​Fine autumn weather ensures on-schedule completion for fourth phase of airborne surveying
  • Tellus team extends thanks to all for support and co-operation
  • Minister McHugh welcomes conclusion of successful campaign

A major airborne geophysics survey over Counties Meath, Kildare, Offaly, rural Dublin, and northern parts of Laois and Wicklow has touched down for the final time – bringing to an end the fourth phase of Tellus, a significant geological mapping project led by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI).

The project, which involved the collection of geophysical data on rocks, soil and water across the region, was supported with a comprehensive communications campaign to ensure key stakeholders were informed of the survey and its purpose.
Throughout the summer and autumn, the specialised twin propeller plane operated by Sander Geophysics Ltd on behalf of the GSI, traversed the skies over Eastern Ireland.

In total, 32,642 km were flown over the four month period, with the fine autumn weather throughout October providing a welcome boost to flight plans. Flying at a height of 60m over rural areas, the plane was a familiar sight to many local people, particularly to those involved in horse breeding and other livestock owners.

“I am delighted to announce the current phase of airborne surveying is now complete, on-schedule, marking another significant milestone for this important national project”
- commented Minister for Natural Resources, Joe McHugh T.D.

Tellus Project Manager, Mairéad Glennon commented:

“We have always been very focused on the potential effects of the low-flying plane, particularly over areas such as Kildare and Meath which are famous for horse-breeding and racing. To minimise disruption we implemented a campaign which involved direct communication with as many organisations and individuals as possible”.
“We extend our thanks to all who worked closely with us to spread awareness and particularly to the horse breeders and livestock owners who co-operated so effectively to ensure the survey ran safely and to schedule.”

Following a period of data checking, mapped results will be made freely available online during 2016 and will enable scientists, planners, industry specialists and environmentalists to better understand and manage our natural resources.

“The Tellus Survey continues its rollout across Ireland. It is already delivering many benefits to different sectors of our society, and it offers enormous potential for the future”
added Mairéad Glennon.

The Tellus team has extended its gratitude to Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Weatherby’s Thoroughbred Stud Book Authority, the Irish Farmers Association, and all other groups who helped raise awareness of the airborne survey.
In addition to the airborne survey, Tellus is currently undertaking a geochemical soil survey in Mayo and west Galway. Teams of agricultural scientists will work throughout the winter months, gathering soil samples every 4 km2.

An update on Tellus and other Geological Survey of Ireland programmes will be presented as part of the GSI’s Geoscience 2015 conference at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin on 4th November 2015.