Solid achievement

Leslie, Graham; Cooper, Mark; McConnell, Brian. 2013 Solid achievement. Geoscientist, 23 (3). 10-15.

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For almost two centuries, geological maps have been used to deliver knowledge and understanding of the rocks beneath our feet. Those maps, along with their complementary cross-sections, can provide information in two, three or even four dimensions; but the depth of understanding achieved in that exchange is strongly dependent on the knowledge and experience of the user. An exciting, and potentially more dynamic, future lies in using modern computing power and web-delivery to provide widely accessible 3D models of national geology. Those same media can also seek contributions on-line from across the geological community that enhance the viability and robustness of any released model or derivative products. The British Geological Survey (BGS), Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI), and the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) are now collaborating to build a 1:500 000 scale, 3D model of the upper crust of Britain and Ireland. To develop a methodology for future work, the partners have constructed a ‘Version 1’ test-block of the northeastern half of Ireland. Currently, that model comprises a System-based stratigraphy, and an array of regionally important faults that divide the model into component blocks sharing a recognised geological history. Stacked surfaces in the model represent the base and areal extent of individual geological units: for example, the spread of Carboniferous limestones that dominates the nearsurface bedrock geology of the Irish midlands. The north-eastern Irish model is already providing a regional context for enquiry-driven, higher resolution case studies, such as the Belfast urban geological model. This new model is being constructed in consultation with Belfast City Council and other stakeholders in order to inform future sustainable urban development.

Item Type: Publication - Article
ISSN: 0961-5628
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The article can also be downloaded for free from URL above
Date made live: 23 Jul 2013 12:29 +0 (UTC)

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