Karst is widespread in Ireland, is a major source of ground water, and is intimately intertwined with seasonal surface flooding. Karst can be unstable and represent a time-varying environment with the appearance of seasonal lakes. Due to its extreme heterogeneity there is still no accepted ‘best method’ for imaging conduits or other structures in karst. It poses a critical problem in infrastructure development (e.g. motorway building) and offers a ‘laboratory’ for further scientific research.
This research will determine the most reliable geophysical methods for imaging through karst and determining karst geo-mechanical properties. This will be done by applying ‘integrative’ and ‘derivative’ imaging methods and combine different methodologies using formal joint inversion techniques. Forward numerical simulations in heterogeneous models will support the interpretation.
Buried valleys have a significant influence on surface and ground water drainage patterns and have implications for (i) geotechnical works, (ii) the factors controlling flooding and (iii) contaminant transport pathways. They have been encountered as part of Arup’s work on the Galway City transport project.
This research will determine the distribution of buried limestone valleys in the Galway City area by analysing existing date and preparing a 3D ground mode in collaboration with Arup.
- Geological investigation of buried limestone valleys between Lough Corrib and Galway City - Megan Dolan
- Developing a toolkit for imaging shallow karst