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Tellus National Airborne Survey 2018

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Tellus National Airborne Survey 2018

Tellus National Airborne Survey 2018
August 14
09:16 2018

The Tellus Survey – a nationwide programme of Geological Survey Ireland, which collects geochemical and geophysical data on rocks, soil and water across Ireland – has officially embarked on its 2018 airborne survey. To collect this data, an aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art geophysical technology will be flying the skies at low heights over west Cork, Limerick, north Tipperary, and south Offaly from August until the end of 2018 (weather permitting).

The data collected from the Tellus Survey is helping to map and sustainably manage our environment and natural resources and to protect public health in the future. Previous phases of Tellus have provided new data to improve radon risk mapping, assisted local exploration for mineral resources, enabled new third-level research on environmental pollution, agricultural productivity and peat and wetlands which helps provide a comprehensive picture of the environment within Ireland. Data collected throughout the project is made publically and freely available to all on the Tellus website (

GSI Tellus Survey – West Cork Survey Area 2018.

The aircraft is a white, twin propeller plane, which is easily identified by its red tail and black stripe as well as the word ‘SURVEY’ and registration number C-GSGF written across both sides of the plane. Based at Kerry airport, the plane will be flying at 60 metres over rural areas – about eight times the height of a two storey house – and 240 metres over urban areas over the coming months, as approved by the Irish Aviation Authority. The aircraft is able to sense geological properties not apparent from conventional mapping techniques, effectively ‘seeing through’ Ireland’s often deep glacial deposits and extensive peat and soil cover.

Dr James Hodgson, Senior Geologist and Project Manager for Tellus, said: “The Tellus Survey is an important and exciting project which keeps providing us with significant information about the geological composition of Ireland. This latest airborne phase builds on the work done up until now and is the first step towards ‘mapping’ 75% of Ireland by 2020. The survey will bring new insights into the geology of the region in particular the significant mineral resources and agricultural properties across the west and southwest. This is shown in the support and part-funding for the survey by two separate exploration companies Group Eleven Resources Ltd and First Quantum Mineral Ltd. We would also like to extend our sincere thanks to the local communities for their continued support and understanding during the survey activity.”

The sound of the plane is similar to that of a passing lorry but could possibly startle sensitive livestock, such as horses. GSI issued information leaflets to all homes and business in the survey zones via post at the end of April to provide advance notice of the survey.

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