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Geology Course Summary

BURREN GEOLOGY SCHOOL AT CAHERCONNELL – 6ECTS or 3 Credit hours
June 16th-July 1st 2014

OUTLINE SCHEDULE


(JM=John Murray RH=Ronan Hennessy MW=Mike Williams TH=Tiernan Henry CB=Colin Bunce ED=Eamon Doyle)

Day 1. Monday

09.30 – 11.00 – Introduction to the Geology of Ireland (RH)

11.30 -12.30 – On the shoulders of giants, the early geologists of Ireland. (RH)

13.30 – 15.00 –The Carboniferous of Ireland (JM)

15.30 – 17.00–The Carboniferous of County Clare (JM)

Day 2. Tuesday

09.30 – 18.00 – FIELDWORK: Overview of the geology of north Clare; Blackhead, Ailladie, Poulsallagh, Doolin, St. Brendan’s well. (RH, JM, ED)

This daytrip gives an overview of the entire sequence of Asbian-Brigantian limestones along the north Clare coast. Features clay bands and palaeokarst horizons, chert horizons, the major fossil groups and the contact with the overlying goniatite-bearing shales.


Day 3. Wednesday

09.30 – 11.00—Slumps and Slides in the Pennsylvanian sediments of west Clare (ED)

11.30 – 12.30 –Deltaic sedimentation and cyclothems in the Pennsylvanian of west Clare (ED)

13.30 – 18.00–FIELDWORK: Deltaic growth faults examined from offshore Cliffs of Moher (ED)

Examination of large deltaic growth faults in the Pennsylvanian sediments of the Cliffs of Moher. This unique section provides students with an insight into growth fault dynamics unavailable in modern deltas.


Day 4. Thursday

08.00 – 18.00 –FIELDWORK: Spanish Point to Loop Head. (ED, JM, MW)

The internationally renowned Bridges of Ross section; sand volcanoes and syn-sedimentary slumping. Turbidites and channels. Basin evolution.


Day 5. Friday

09.30 – 11.00—The tectonic and structural setting of the carboniferous of Clare (ED)

11.30- 12.30—Carboniferous mineralization. (MF)

13.30 –18.00—FIELDWORK: Minerals of County Clare (MF, ED, TH)

Flourite, Calcite, Malachite, Galena, Smithsonite, Phosphate. Small abandoned mine workings from the last century dot the Burren landscape and provide information on the tectonics and fluid development of the sedimentary basin.

Day 6. Saturday

09.00-19.00—FIELDWORK Aran Islands, (ED/MW)

Comparing the limestone sequence of the Aran Islands with the onshore sequence of the Burren

Day7. Sunday [No scheduled class work or fieldtrips]

Day 8. Monday

09.30 – 11.00—The Pleistocene Glaciations (MW)

11.30 – 12.30—The Holocene; Sea-level changes and storms (MW)

13.30 – 18.00—FIELDWORK: Fanore, Poulsallagh, Doolin (MW/ED)

Glacial striations, till and erratics; the evidence from the last glaciation. Holocene Sea-level change, climate change and mega-clast storm deposits.


Day 9. Tuesday

09.30-10.30—Karst Geomorphology of the Burren I (CB)

11.00 -12.00–Karst Geomorphology of the Burren II (CB)

13.00-18.00—FIELDWORK: The development of karst landscape; Slieve Elva and Aillwee Hill (CB,ED)

A comparison of mature and immature karst landscapes and the relationship to overlying shale cover; Dolines, Identification of Karren features, Cave development and the timescale of karstification.


Day 10. Wednesday

09.00 -12.30–FIELDWORK: Exploration of karst cave systems in the Burren (CB)

13.30-18.00 –FIELDWORK: Exploration of karst cave systems in the Burren (ED)

Descent into an active cave system in the morning and a managed relic cave system in the afternoon. See Karst groundwater processes in action. Cave development, Hydrogeology, carbonate dissolution and precipitation.


Day 11. Thursday

09.30-11.00–Hydrogeology of the Burren I (TH)

11.30-12.30–Hydrogeology of the Burren II (TH)

13.30-18.00–FIELDWORK: The groundwater of the Peterswell-Kinvarra area (TH, ED)

Regional aspects of groundwater movement in a karst environment; flow rates, flood and contamination risk management.

Day 12. Friday

09.00-11.00– The palaeontology of the Carboniferous Period I (JM)

11.30-12.30–The palaeontology of the Carboniferous Period II(JM)

13.30-17.00–Labwork. Examination and identification of fossils of north Clare (JM, ED)

Day 13. Saturday

09.00—18.00 FIELDWORK: Working quarries in Clare.

Local medium and small scale quarries expose excellent geological sections; Liscannor flag and enigmatic trace fossils, Limestone and clay horizons. The quarrying process in action.

Day 14. Sunday. [No scheduled class work of fieldtrips]

Day 15. Monday

09.00 – 18.00–FIELDWORK: The Burren National Park (ED, JM). Lunch at Fr. Ted’s house.

Students compile a geological guide to Mullaghmore in the Burren National Park, one of the iconic locations of the Burren.


Day 16. Tuesday

09.00 – 18.00 –Submit Field notebooks, and 2,000 word summary reports for examination . (JM, RH, MW, TH, CB, ED)

Course Fee: €2250

This inlcudes:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodation
  • Transport to and from the site daily
  • Transportation to and from the various sites you will be investigating
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Tea Breaks

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