Irish geologists create atlas to aid in Atlantic exploration

11 Sep 2014

Scientists from the Geological Survey of Ireland and University College Dublin (UCD) have launched a new geological atlas of the north-east of the Atlantic Ocean to aid exploration and research in the region.

Known officially as the Northeast Atlantic Geoscience Tectonostratigraphic Atlas (NAGTEC), the project is one of the most ambitious of its kind undertaken in Europe. Aside from the geological benefits, it will supposedly help Ireland economically and scientifically in the long term.

Costing €4m, developed by eight geological surveys, and sponsored by more than a dozen exploration companies, the three-year project has successfully correlated all offshore data for the entire north-east Atlantic Ocean.

The Irish contribution to the NAGTEC project has been co-ordinated by Maria Judge, INFOMAR geologist at the Geological Survey of Ireland, with support from a post-doctoral researcher, Dr Kenneth McDermott, who had been based at the School of Geological Sciences, UCD, under the supervision of Prof Pat Shannon.

Minster of State at the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Joe McHugh, TD, said the atlas’ release has been well-placed for future endeavours.

“This new data is also very timely in the context of the Atlantic exploration licensing round which was opened this summer and concludes in September 2015.”

Atlantic Ocean image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic