The Tellus Programme, managed by Geological Survey Ireland, has released six new datasets from the latest phases of the ground geochemical and airborne geophysical surveys which have been collecting information across the country since 2011.
These new data, collected over the last few years and months, include geochemical data from soil, stream water and stream sediment samples from counties Galway and Mayo and peri-urban samples from Galway city and Dublin. Data also includes airborne geophysical data recently flown over counties Limerick and north Tipperary and west Cork. This wealth of new datasets from a range of areas across the country will help with the geological understanding in these areas.
The Tellus survey is a national mapping programme, and the data collected provides important information to the mineral, agricultural and environmental sectors.
The new geochemical data, maps different elemental concentrations in the soils, waters and sediments of our landscape. Four new datasets are being released for areas over counties Galway and Mayo peri-urban zones around Galway City and Dublin. These data provide excellent regional mapping for Rare Earth Elements and critical elements, essential for the productions of electronics, alloys, batteries and magnets. Data also provide mineral exploration potential via pathfinder elements for gold and base metal deposits.
The airborne data will assist in new geological mapping – in particular, the data will help in the exploration for zinc deposits in southeast Limerick, while in west Cork copper exploration is one of the main objectives. One of the most striking features observed from the data is the eye-like structure formed by strongly magnetized rocks of the Limerick Volcanic Complex. Zinc mineralization is believed to form in limestone rocks intruded by these volcanic rocks, close to major faults. The new data will help to map these features in greater detail; both close to the surface and at depth, providing a 3D impression of the region.
Minister for Natural Resources, Seán Canney TD said: “I am delighted to officially release the latest phase of Tellus data. The breadth of the new data collected and their geographical extent show the continued progress of the Tellus project in its goal of completing a national map for the country. Once complete, Ireland will be the most detailed mapped country in the world. The data collected provide important information putting Ireland at the forefront, internationally in mapping and investigating our geology.
“These high-class datasets will be used by our own state agencies as well as by the mineral, agricultural and environmental & research sectors. I look forward to the next phases of the Tellus survey and to it completing national coverage in the coming years.”
Koen Verbruggen, Director of Geological Survey Ireland commented: “We’re pleased to have successfully completed the latest phases of the Tellus survey. The geoscience information collected is vital to the work carried out by the Geological Survey as well as wider stakeholders in sectors such as environmental management and mapping, and mineral exploration.
“We are particularly happy to have the support of First Quantum Mineral Resources and Group Eleven Resources in part funding the acquisition of the airborne data, showing that the data is of great interest to both public and private companies and that the data may assist in the development and understanding of the potential mineral resources in the Pallas Green and Stonepark areas.”
The Tellus survey will continue collecting data next summer with further data releases planned for spring 2020.
This phase of the survey was funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. A contribution was made by Group Eleven Resources towards airborne costs for the survey over Limerick and north Tipperary while First Quantum Mineral resources contributed to airborne costs for the survey over west Cork providing an overall cost saving to the State.
All data are made freely available to the public and data and maps are available to view and download from www.gsi.ie/tellus
Source – Geological Survey of Ireland