Congratulations to iCRAG PIs Prof. Chris Bean and Prof. Balz Kamber on being awarded two prestigious SFI Research Infrastructure Awards today.

This infrastructure funding was awarded competitively following rigorous international review to research groups where the research equipment and facilities are required to address major research opportunities and challenges.

Prof. Chris Bean: Insitu Marine Laboratory for Geosystems Research (iMARL): €2,856,176
Ireland has an ocean territory ten times larger than its terrestrial landmass. Geological, oceanographic and biological processes mutually interact on a daily basis in this vast territory. Continuously recording offshore sensors are required to monitor this activity. Here we establish the Insitu Marine Laboratory for Geosystems Research (iMARL) comprising Ocean Bottom Seismographs (OBSs), Temperature and Acoustic Recorders. Strapped to sea-bed landers and deployed on the sea floor this equipment will allow for the detections of offshore earthquakes and offshore storms, as well as noise in the ocean and biologically generated acoustic signals (e.g. from whales). Impacts include: natural resources quantification, natural hazard estimation, environmental and baseline climate related insitu ocean monitoring. A pilot tsunami detection system will also be installed as part of the network.

Prof. Balz Kamber: Geosciences Electron Beam Mineral Analyser – GeoRise: €636,161
The GeoRise is a special type of scanning electron microscope, which geoscientists will use to investigate real-world sized rocks at sub-microscopic scale. This cutting edge analytical instrument will have a wide array of detectors that allow the simultaneous determination of many properties, such as composition, luminescence and atomic arrangement. The GeoRise also has software that can automatically recognise groups of minerals within a rock and map their mutual relationships. Most importantly, the GeoRise can quantify the content of valuable metals in rocks in unprecedented detail. It will thus be used to develop new approaches to resource and energy efficiency.

This investment is made by the Department of Jobs through Science Foundation Ireland.

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