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SFI and GSI to co-fund two new Frontiers for the Future Projects

SFI and GSI to co-fund two new Frontiers for the Future Projects


​As part of a strenghtening collaboration with SFI, GSI is delighted to co-fund two new projects selected under the SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme for excellent science.

Congratulations to Dr Niamh Cahill from Maynooth University and Dr Michael Stock from Trinity College Dublin.

Dr Cahill's project is: Predicting Sea Levels and Sea-Level Extremes for Ireland.  Rising seas increase the vulnerability of cities and associated infrastructure that line the coastline of Ireland because of higher extreme sea levels (and flooding), coastal erosion, salinization of surface and ground waters, and degradation of coastal habitats. Armed with statistical knowledge of how sea levels have been changing in the 20th and 21st century, future links between mean sea-level and sea level extremes due to storm surges and wave climate can be established, which are vital to inform decision making related to flood risks.

This project will address three components necessary for providing estimates of current and future sea levels and sea level extremes around Ireland:  (1) Establish links between sea-levels and climate using instrumental records of Irish sea-level changes; (2) Estimate extreme sea-level probabilities at high spatial resolution for select locations along the Irish coastline considering influences of sea-level rise, storm surges and waves; (3) Combine outputs from (1) and (2) to provide projections of extreme sea levels and corresponding return periods under different climate scenarios. Outputs will contribute to a stakeholder-focused, user-friendly web-application, interactive maps, R software and databases which respond to Ireland's need for future sea-level and extreme sea-level projections and their interpretation.

Dr Stock's project is: Developing a process-based understanding of platinum group element mineralisation: a natural laboratory in Ireland (Critical-Ireland).    Critical-Ireland aims to place fundamental new constraints on the thermodynamic and fluid mechanic processes that generate magmatic platinum group element (PGE) deposits. Due to their essential role in green technologies and concerns over supply security, PGEs constitute 'critical raw materials' which require innovative research to identify new deposits. The Palaeogene igneous intrusions in Ireland have been suggested as one of the most prospective regions for PGE mineralisation in Europe and excellent bedrock exposure, combined with new GSI Tellus data, make them an ideal natural laboratory for investigating PGE mineralising processes. Critical-Ireland will apply state-of-the-art petrographic and geochemical techniques to Palaeogene igneous complexes in Ireland, determining how the dynamics of magma assimilation impact sulphide solubility in mafic intrusions, and how country rock contamination, sulphide accumulation and PGE enrichment vary as a function of thermal and fluid dynamic regime along magma conduits. These new constraints will be used to inform the first dynamic numerical models of PGE mineralising processes, which will aid in understanding deposit formation globally. Critical-Ireland will bring together a unique international research team to place first-order constraints on magmatic processes, which will aid in securing the European PGE supply and unlocking Ireland's potential to produce critical raw materials.