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Frank Manheim Gives Lectures in Ireland and Sweden, Gathers Information on New European Offshore Geological Programs

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Limestone Cliffs of Moher on the Irish west coast.
Above: Limestone Cliffs of Moher on the Irish west coast. Arrows point to medieval castle and people on shelf of rock. No fences prevent people from demonstrating their fearlessness by approaching the edge.
Below: Extract from "Bottom Sediment Map of the Central Baltic Sea: 1:500,000, Lithuanian Swedish Programme, 2001," edited by M. Repecka and I. Cato. Orange shades, gravel; yellow, sand; green and blue, finer sediment and sediment outcrop; white, land (Swedish mainland and …land). [larger version]

a portion of the Bottom Sediment Map of the Central Baltic Sea
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) emeritus scientist Frank Manheim gave four lectures at the National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway, and the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) in Dublin from March 23 through 27, and a lecture at the University of Stockholm on April 5. The topics were:

  • Atlantic margin sediment data base,
  • Delmarva resistivity and ground-water studies,
  • Lower Mississippi River contaminant studies, and
  • Historical survey of the effectiveness of national technologies (United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Russia).

Frank was accompanied by his wife, USGS geologist Lucy McCartan (Reston, VA). The visit was partly supported by a grant from NUI to Chaosheng Zhang, of NUI's Department of Geography, and Frank Manheim. Dr. Zhang visited USGS headquarters in Reston, VA, in the summer of 2002.

Frank and Lucy learned that the Geological Survey of Ireland had received a grant of 32 million euro (equivalent to about US$ 36 million at press time) to administer a 7-year cooperative survey of Ireland's seabed. Reaching more than 600 mi out into the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland's territorial seabed encompasses about 10 times the land area of the Republic of Ireland. Both the geological surveys of Ireland and Sweden are involved with a European Union project to create a metadata base for offshore sediment.

A visit to the Swedish Geological Survey (SGU) headquarters in Uppsala revealed that, after retrenchment in earlier years, the SGU has increased its staff to serve new land and marine programs. New land programs include expanding medical-geology studies and taking control of large caverns earlier dug in bedrock to contain nuclear waste (but never used). SGU's marine program, headed by Ingemar Cato, is conducting systematic sidescan-sonar, subbottom-profiling, and swath-bathymetric studies of Swedish national waters under the sponsorship of the Swedish Navy. New maps of bathymetry and sediment texture in the Baltic Sea have been released.

A difference in policy between U.S. and northern European geological surveys (Britain, Sweden, Finland) is that the latter are required to sell rather than freely distribute the results of gridded geochemical surveys and other systematic mapping data.

Related Web Sites
Atlantic Margins Offshore Sediment Database
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Atchafalaya and Mississippi River Delta Study
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway
National University of Ireland (NUI)
Irish National Seabed Survey
Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI)
Swedish Geological Survey (SGU)
Swedish Ministry of Industry, Employment, and Communications

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May Publications List U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
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