Phase one of Gozo tun­nel seis­mic sur­vey com­pleted

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Univer­sity of Malta con­cluded the first in a se­ries of seis­mic in­ves­ti­ga­tions be­tween Malta and Gozo on Fri­day even­ing.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tions form part of the stud­ies which will pro­vide a de­tailed ge­o­log­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the area and will es­tab­lish a ge­o­log­i­cal model that will guide the con­cep­tual de­sign of the pro­posed tun­nel be­tween the is­lands.

Dur­ing this phase of the study, sci­en­tists de­ployed a 300-me­tre-long ca­ble with a se­ries of spe­cialised re­cep­tors.

An ‘air gun’ re­leased bursts of com­pressed air ev­ery few me­tres and the com­pressed air was re­flected back to the re­cep­tors. Dif­fer­ent ge­o­log­i­cal lay­ers re­flect back dif­fer­ent fre­quen­cies, al­low­ing sci­en­tists to de­ter­mine the ge­o­log­i­cal for­ma­tions that lie be­neath the sur­face and de­ter­mine pos­si­ble cracks.

For sev­eral days, the ves­sel Midas Ex­press nav­i­gated be­tween the is­lands re­peat­ing this process.

The se­cond phase of in­ves­ti­ga­tions will be­gin in the com­ing days. The Univer­sity of Malta will con­duct a de­tailed bathy­met­ric map­ping of the area and of the sub­sur­face ge­ol­ogy fea­tures us­ing a multi-beam echo-sounder and sub-bot­tom pro­fil­ing. The re­searchers will use higher fre­quen­cies that will help form a de­tailed 3D map of the sea bed.

Dur­ing the third phase, op­er­a­tives will drill a se­ries of bore­holes, up to 200 me­tres be­low the sea bed to de­ter­mine the rock strata be­low the sur­face.

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