Tellus Airborne Survey takes off over South Central Ireland

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The next phase of the Tellus Survey – a nationwide programme of Geological Survey Ireland – will take off over southern and central counties of Ireland in the comings days. Tellus is a programme to collect geochemical and geophysical data on rocks, soil and water across Ireland. To gather the geophysical  data, a low-flying airplane equipped with state-of -the-art instruments will fly  over counties Laois, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford, and neighbouring parts of Offaly, Cork, Carlow and Kildare from September until the end of the year, weather permitting.

The Tellus Survey programme has been mapping across Ireland over the last nine years and is currently funded under Project2040 the National Development Plan by Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. The programme aims to have 75% of Ireland mapped by 2020, with the resulting data having the potential to deliver positive economic, environmental and agricultural benefits by helping to assist in  local environment understanding, soil management, and natural resource potential for these counties. Data collected throughout the Tellus project is published and made freely available to all on the Tellus website (www.tellus.ie).

Dr James Hodgson, Senior Geologist and Project Manager for Tellus, said:

“The Tellus Survey is an important national project, providing valuable insights into the geological makeup of Ireland. The data collected from the Tellus Survey helps us to sustainably manage our environment and natural resources as well as protecting public health. I am delighted that the south central phase has commenced and we thank the communities of Laois, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Waterford Offaly, Cork, Carlow and Kildare for their support during this flying season.”

The survey aircraft is a white, twin propeller plane (as pictured), 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 Waterford airport, the survey 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  in  the coming months, as approved by the Irish Aviation Authority.

Due to the low-flying altitude of the survey aircraft, anyone concerned about sensitive livestock is encouraged to contact the Tellus Freephone Information Line on 1800 45 55 65. The Tellus team will be happy to provide information on upcoming flight plans.

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