Geology Archive

The Geology of the Burren is dominated by Carboniferous limestone overlain by shale, siltstone and sandstone. The limestone is composed of very pure shallow water carbonate shelf sediments with abundant crinoids, corals, brachiopods calcareous algae and foraminifera. There are subordinate chert and clay horizons.

Overlying the limestone is a thick sequence of shale, siltstone and sandstone best exposed in the Cliffs of Moher and the coastal sections further south. These are a shallowing-upwards sequence ranging from deep offshore slope deposits to deltaic cyclothems with fluvial channels. The fossils in this sequence are predominantly terrestrial plant material with marine goniatite horizons and brackish water trace fossil assemblages.

The next geological evidence we have is 300 million later when large ice sheets scoured the landscape. The last period of ice activity ended some 15,000 years ago and left behind glacial till, striations and erratics which indicate a flow direction from northeast to southwest.

In this section we provide published articles relating to the geology of the Burren and Clare, general geology relevant to the area as well as maps and reports.

To view the original published research click on the title to access the PDFs provided.
Further external links to the publishing companies are also provided.

Geology of The Burren, Co. Clare and South Galway:

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General Geology, Reports, Maps, etc. relating to the burren:

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