Seismic survey for Malta – Gozo tunnel completed

The University of Malta completed the first of a series of seismic investigations between Malta and Gozo yesterday evening.  The investigations are part of the studies which will provide a detailed geological investigation of the area and will establish a geological model which 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.  The compressed air was reflected back to the receptors.  Different geological layers reflect back different frequencies.  Scientists can thus 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 commence 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.