Tuesday, September 22, 2015

[Geology2] 330 million year old VOLCANOES discovered near Mullingar, Co Westmeath

330 million year old VOLCANOES discovered near Mullingar, Co Westmeath

  • 21 September 2015
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A low flying aircraft using mapping technology uncovered the ancient rock formations on the Westmeath/Offaly border

How Mullingar might look with a volcano nearby

Three hundred million year old volcanoes have been discovered under the midlands.

A low flying aircraft using the latest mapping technology has uncovered the 330 million-year-old rock formations on the Westmeath / Offaly border south of Mullingar.

It also showed bands of volcanic rocks several kilometres under the ground near Strokestown, Co Roscommon – part of a major fault line that can be traced through Ireland to Scotland.

The discoveries were made in the latest part of the Government's Tellus programme.

Flying at 90metres, aircraft use technology to see through Ireland's deep glacial deposits and extensive peat cover.

Researchers said the sites will be of interest to companies on the look out for mineral deposits.

Ray Scanlon, principal geologist at the Geological Survey of Ireland, said: "Tellus continues to reveal extraordinary new detail in Ireland's geological landscape buried beneath our feet, building upon existing data gaps and developing natural resource opportunities.

"An understanding of Ireland's geology is vital for environmental, health and economic reasons and the data will be welcomed by a broad range of stakeholders for agricultural, radon prevention, groundwater protection and mineral exploration purposes."

Tellus aims to complete a geological jigsaw of the island of Ireland and hopes to have half the country covered by the end of 2017.

The Midlands findings are significant as they make up another piece of the jigsaw which began in 2007.

The fourth phase of Tellus is underway across eastern Ireland where the survey over Offaly, Kildare , Meath , Dublin and northern parts of Wicklow and Laois is almost 60 per cent complete.

At the moment the project is focused on rural county Dublin .

The specially equipped aircraft carries three instruments on board measuring magnetism, conductivity and natural radiation of the rocks and soils below.

Tellus is part of Ireland's earth science agency, the Geological Survey of Ireland, founded in 1845.

The survey is responsible for collecting geological information and giving advice and information including maps, reports and databases.

It is part of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and has about 50 staff.



Posted by: Lin Kerns <linkerns@gmail.com>


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