Post 10 websiteThe Shannon River and Estuary Region

Date: 1st – 3rd August 2019
Leader: Catherine Dalton
Contact email: catherine.dalton@mic.ul.ie
Guide price: TBA

The fieldtrip will explore the lower river and estuarine reaches of the Shannon and examine the geological, Quaternary, hydrological, vegetation and human history in the area. A boat trip to Scattery Island in the Shannon estuary will also feature.

Back to top


Post 11 websiteClare Island, County Mayo
Date: 1st – 4th August 2019
Leader: Prof Peter Coxon
Contact email: pcoxon@tcd.ie
Guide price: TBA

The excursion will visit a small island (7.5 x 2.5km) off the coast of County Mayo in western Ireland. The island has a rich and diverse landscape that has been the subject of scientific study since the famous Clare Island Survey of the early 20th century. The varied landscape includes dramatic upland scenery sculpted by fast moving ice crossing the island and terminating on the western Irish shelf during the LGM. A subsequent ice readvance has left clear evidence of a moraine limit on the island. Coastal and inland exposures allow features of glacial erosion and deposition to be observed in detail. The western end of the island contains a large corrie and a moraine complex that is probably Younger Dryas in age. Abundant accommodation space in hummocky terrain has left substantial deposits of Holocene organic sediments and these provide a detailed record of the island’s vegetation history. We will take cores from these. Human occupation of the island began at least 6500 years ago and the evidence of this occupation can be seen in a variety of archaeological monuments and features. All of the field excursion on the island will be on diverse and sometimes rough and boggy terrain and will all be on foot.

Back to top


Post 12 websiteBurren and Aran Islands, Western Ireland: Karstic Landscapes at the Atlantic Fringe of Europe
Date: 1st – 5th August 2019
Leader: Prof Michael O’Connell
Contact email: michael.oconnell@nuigalway.ie
Guide price: TBA

The Burren, Co. Clare is widely regarded one of the outstanding examples of karst in western Europe. The Lower Carboniferous limestone bedrock shows many karstic features. The exceptionally rich flora includes an abundance of species otherwise rare in Ireland. The combination of arctic/alpine and southern/Mediterranean species is unique in a European context. Archaeologically, the area is of high importance with a high concentration of megalithic graves and also many Iron Age/Medieval features.

Geologically, the Aran Islands are a westward extension of the Burren into the Atlantic Ocean. Rich in erratics from the last and earlier glaciations, the landscape, with its dense network of small fields enclosed by high stone walls, its large and spectacularly sited stone forts, e.g. Dún Aonghasa, and the many early Medieval monastic sites, reflects substantial and long-term human impact. Recent investigations (TIMECHS project, An Loch Mór; Discovery Programme excavations at Dún Aonghasa and other forts) provide several new insights into the long cultural history of the Islands.

This excursion will concentrate on long-term human impact on the Burren and Aran Islands as reflected in the archaeological and palaeoecological records. Typical Late-glacial sequences will also be demonstrated.

Back to top


Post 13 websiteThe Quaternary Glaciation of the Mournes, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
Date: 1st – 3rd August 2019
Leader: Dr Sam Roberson
Contact email: sam.roberson@bgs.ac.uk
Guide price: TBA

The glacial geology of Northern Ireland, like much of the UK and Ireland, is characterised by a contrast between complete ice sheet coverage during the last glacial maximum and local upland ice cap glaciations typical of average glacial conditions during the Quaternary. Recent studies by the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University have contributed to understandings of the style and timing of the Late-glacial re-advance in Co. Down, as well as the nature and extent of upland glaciations in the Mountains of Mourne. The coastal location of the Mournes has resulted in a complex interplay between local icefield glaciers, the Irish Sea Ice stream and regional scale ice cap outlet glaciers. This fieldtrip will introduce the range of glacial landforms that reflect processes operating beneath the Irish Ice Sheet at Last Glacial Maximum (glacial breaches, Rogen moraines, drumlins, glacial lineations and subglacial meltwater channels). Field visits will provide insights into the style and rate of ice retreat in the Irish Sea. We will be looking for evidence of small ice-cap style glaciation

Back to top