- Findings unearth ‘building blocks’ of Ireland
- Results set to assist mineral exploration industry
The long buried geological history of the Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Offaly and Laois region has been revealed in new detail as the results of the most recent phase of the Geological Survey of Ireland’s Tellus Programme are published.
Taking almost 30 million geophysical measurements over a 5,810km2 area, the low-flying Tellus Survey aircraft traversed the sky over Eastern Ireland from June to October last year. Flying over 32,000 km – the equivalent of travelling from Ireland to Australia and back – the resulting data has uncovered new findings which will feed into Ireland’s first seamless cross-border geoenvironmental mapping project which began in 2007.
The geophysical magnetic maps reveal the join between two ancient continents which collided 400 million years ago, to form Ireland as we know it today. The complex fault lines of this collision, located in a wedge-shaped area in Co. Meath between Navan and Drogheda, are highlighted in new detail. The location of Europe’s largest zinc mine, operated by Boliden Tara Mines Ltd, is shown to be at a junction of these ancient fault lines. It is anticipated that further study of the data by geologists will enhance exploration for base metals and other natural resources across Ireland.
Data is available to view and download, free of charge. The new data release will be shown at a major geological conference, the 59th Irish Geological Research Meeting, at the National University of Ireland, Galway on 19-21st February, 2016.