Geological Survey Ireland samples

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Tellus geochemistry survey continues 2021

Conducted by the Geological Survey Ireland (GSI), the Tellus survey collects geochemical and geophysical data on rocks, soil and water across Ireland.

To collect this data, the latest phase of the survey will involve a low-flying aircraft travelling over eastern County Cork and neighbouring parts of south County Limerick and west County Waterford. This phase of the Tellus survey will run from July until autumn 2021. For up to date information and the planned weekly flight schedule, please visit

The aircraft will fly at a low level of 60 metres over rural areas (approximately eight times the height of a standard two storey house), rising to 240 metres over urban areas. The sound of the plane is similar to that of a passing lorry and it may startle sensitive livestock, such as horses, pedigree cattle, sheep-in-lamb and poultry flocks. The speed of the aircraft is about 216 km/h or 130 mph.

The samples will be analysed allowing the Geological Survey to make new comprehensive geological maps and helping to assess the health of the environment, soil nutrients and trace elements. Regional variations in soil properties that can affect soil fertility and grass yields will be ascertained from the results, especially beneficial for the local agricultural communities. The information gathered by the survey will be made freely available to all, via

River running over rocks
River running over rocks

As it is vital to raise public awareness of the project, particularly amongst farmers and landowners, the Tellus team is delivering an ongoing communications campaign across the region to ensure all stakeholders are informed.

If you have any concerns about the survey, particularly if you own sensitive livestock, or if you are interested in finding out more about the project, you can contact the Tellus Freephone information line on 1800 45 55 65 or visit You can also follow Tellus on twitter @TellusGSI.

Tellus 2021 A9 Survey Area