Project title: Ireland – Geochemical, petrological and geochronological analysis
Researcher: Dr Hilde Koch
Ireland hosts a large number of zinc-lead deposits, of which one is currently exploited at Navan. This mine is Europe’s largest zinc producer. The search for additional economic deposits is ongoing. So far, in the Irish ore field there is information missing which could clarify the timing and the vertical position of the mineralisation in relation to the major sedimentary basin. However, volcanic ash layers, which occur either just above or below mineralised areas can serve as excellent time markers in these areas as volcanic ash beds form unique and datable horizons. It is expected that the layers show recognizable patterns in diagnostic elements, which characterise the layers and therefore make them distinguishable. This allows us to determine an age for the mineralised areas in relation to the occurring ash layers. Additionally, the chemistry of the ore hosting carbonates can be used as a secondary marker to test the results from the volcanic ash layers.