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Ireland and the Ice Age: A Public Lecture

On 13th April, a public lecture was organised by IQUA with expert speakers presenting elements of recent Quaternary research. The evening event was chaired by the acclaimed journalist and author Lorna Siggins. Prof Emeritus John Sweeney (Maynooth University) delved into the evolution of the climate that triggered and followed the Ice Age while Prof Peter Coxon (Trinity College Dublin) talked about the Irish landscape before the Ice Age and the changes that followed because of it. Our last talk of the day was by Dr Bethan Davies (Royal Holloway University of London) who explored the importance of teaching the events of this time period, the Quaternary, and the influence it has on our modern world. The IQUA booklet entitled “Giants of the Irish Quaternary” was also launched at the same time.

Quaternary Sites of Ireland

The map of Quaternary sites in Ireland, included in all delegate bags, was designed for use by both the general public and visiting experts to highlight the most significant sites on the Island of Ireland. These sites were discovered, visited and analysed over the course of the development of Irish Quaternary scientific research. 60 sites were selected and classified as archaeological, geomorphological, megafaunal, palaeoenvironmental and stratigraphical sites with the 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites also indicated. They are displayed over the topography (EU-DTM at 25m resolution) and bathymetry (EMODnet bathymetry DTM at 115m resolution) with added indications of landscape features including lakes, main rivers, bogs, ice-moulded sediments (drumlins, ribbed moraines, …), hummocky esker and moraines, U-shaped valley and larger urban areas. Although some of the historical sites are not accessible anymore, most are still visible with many visited during IQUA annual field meetings. They are named and described succinctly at the back of the map. A digital interactive version with further description, pictures and references is in the works to be included on the IQUA website.

The Irish Quaternary Cycle

To celebrate all things Quaternary Sam Roberson of GSNI takes off on his Quaternary Cycle next week from Mizen Head to Malin Head.

Sam is following in the footsteps, or bicycle wheels, of Francis Synge who, as a young geologist visited many of Sam’s upcoming sites by bike.

​Starting on 15 March 2019, Sam Roberson, Quaternary geologist at the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, will be cycling from one end of Ireland to the other to celebrate the INQUA Dublin congress in July and promote Quaternary geology and landscapes in Ireland.

Scientists from the Irish Quaternary Association, the Geological Survey Ireland, the British Geological Survey and others will be joining in for part of or all of the route.

The route will cover 1000 km over 13 days, much of it following the Wild Atlantic Way route. The tour will take in some of the most dramatic and iconic Quaternary landscapes that Ireland has to offer, talking about how they are related to Quaternary environments and processes.’

Follow the progress on Twitter #irishquaternarycycle

Further information and route can be found on the flyer.