Advances in Irish Quaternary Studies by Peter Coxon, Stephen McCarron, Fraser Mitchell

By Peter Coxon, Stephen McCarron, Fraser Mitchell

This e-book offers a brand new synthesis of the broadcast examine at the Quaternary of eire. It stories a few major advances within the final 3 a long time at the figuring out of the development and chronology of the Irish Quaternary glacial, interglacial, floristic and career documents. these applying the most recent expertise have enabled major advances in geochronology utilizing speeded up mass spectrometry, cosmogenic nuclide extraction and optically inspired luminescence among others. This has been commensurate with high-resolution geomorphological mapping of the Irish land floor and continental shelf utilizing quite a lot of distant sensing options together with MBES and LIDAR. therefore the time is perfect for a state-of-the-art booklet, which gives a chain of authoritative reports of the Irish Quaternary incorporating those newest advances.

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Proc Geologists’ Assoc 126(4–5):466–479. 004 Charlesworth JK (1963) The Bathymetry and Origin of the Larger Lakes of Ireland. Proc Royal Irish Acad B 63:61–69 Chiverrell RC, Thrasher IM, Thomas GSP, Lang A, Scourse JD, van Landeghem KJJ, McCarroll D, Clark CD, Cofaigh Ó, Evans C, Ballantyne DJA (2013) Bayesian modelling the retreat of the Irish Sea Ice Stream. JQS 28(2):200–209. 2616 Clark CD, Hughes ALC, Greenwood SL, Jordan C, Sejrup HP (2012) Pattern and timing of retreat of the last British-Irish Ice Sheet.

In fact the contrasting topography of limestones and silicates is due largely to simple but fundamental differences in the way that these two broad lithological groups are denuded—dissolution versus erosion—as already described (Simms 2004). Ireland’s present climate probably is not dissimilar to what prevailed here through much of the Neogene, although perhaps somewhat warmer in mid-Cenozoic times. This would have favoured weathering over erosion, causing dissolutional lowering of limestone outcrops simultaneously with the development of thick saprolites on silicate outcrops, leading to a progressive increase in Ireland’s differential relief through the Neogene to a pre-glacial maximum.

Fig. J. Simms and P. Coxon 6 Topography In Ireland a close relationship exists between lithology and topography. Approximately 40 % of Ireland’s present land area is underlain by limestone that, with few exceptions, forms lowlands that seldom rise much above 60 m. In contrast, upland areas (>150 m) almost invariably are developed on silica-dominated non-limestone lithologies such as granite, sandstone and quartzite (Simms 2004), although it must also be noted that this is not necessarily the case as in the largely lowland outcrop of the Galway granite (Coxon 2001, 2005).

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