A geological survey has unearthed highly magnetic rocks near Strokestown.
A survey of the area was conducted by the Geological Survey of Ireland’s Tellus programme, funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
Tellus is a ground and airborne geoscience programme, collecting chemical and geophysical data that will inform the management of Ireland’s environment and natural resources.
Flying at 90 metres, technology used on the survey aircraft sensed geological features not apparent from conventional mapping techniques, unveiled deep glacial deposits and extensive peat cover.
The specially-equipped aircraft carried three geophysical instruments on board, measuring magnetism, conductivity and natural radiation of the rocks and soils below.
While weather dependent, good progress has been made to date and the Tellus team aims to survey 50 per cent of the country by the end of 2017.
The results of the most recent component of the survey completed, which were released last week, show “prominent bands of highly magnetic volcanic rocks” several kilometres deep near Strokestown.
A Tellus spokesperson said: “These are associated with a major geological fault that can be traced through Ireland to Scotland.
“These structures are known to be important in the development of mineral deposits and their location will be of considerable interest to exploration companies.”