Rock samples from up to 200 metres beneath the surface are being tested in laboratories as the next phase of studies for an eventual Malta-Gozo tunnel gets underway.
The samples were collected from nine different boreholes in Malta, Gozo and the channel between the two islands, and will be assessed to better understand the types of rocks beneath the ground and seabed.
Italian drilling experts Geotech SPA were tasked with excavating to collect the rock samples, with University of Malta researchers worked with OGS Trieste to carry out seismic investigations of the area in question.
Once the lab tests are completed, the data will be combined with the findings of the seismic investigation to build a geological model of the area between Malta and Gozo.
That model, Transport Malta said on Saturday, would serve as the basis of a conceptual design of the eventual tunnel between the two islands.
The geological model is expected to be completed "in the coming months", the regulator said, adding that it was working closely with Norwegian consultants SINTEF throughout the process.
SINTEF describes itself as the "largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia" and one of the "four largest contract research institutions in Europe."
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us