Project title: Aggregate Potential of Irish South Coast Offshore Palaeovalleys (AggrePOP)
Researcher: Evan O'Mahony
Sand and gravel aggregate deposits are a vital natural resource, providing essential raw materials for infrastructure and supply for the construction industry. Marine aggregates have advantages over terrestrial supplies in that they are often cleaner, less prone to pyrite contamination and with improved calcium contents. Marine aggregate extraction offers significant benefits in terms of lower environmental cost compared to its terrestrial counterpart; reduced CO2 emissions from both extraction and transport as well as significantly faster habitat recovery post in comparison to terrestrial extraction. This research will help resource and assess the quality of marine aggregates off the south coast of Ireland.
Hypothesis: Are there quantifiable marine aggregate resources off the South coast of Ireland?
Objectives: The 3 main objectives of this research are to:
1. Assess resource location, thickness, and quality across known palaeovalleys off the South coast.
2. Interpret marine geophysical data (collected and new) to enable generic resource development models and volumetric estimates.
3. Create detailed digitized maps of offshore multiphase palaeovalleys and submerged geological features to better predict aggregate occurrences across similar marine realms.