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The Late Quaternary history of east-central Ireland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2009

A. M. McCabe
School of Environmental Sciences, Ulster College, The Northern Ireland Polytechnic, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, County Antrim
P. G. Hoare
School of Geography, Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, Collier Road, Cambridge


The drift succession in east-central Ireland is the result of a series of ice movements spreading from major centres of dispersion within theIrish Sea Basin and over the north-central Irish plain, and from local mountain sources. These glaciations have produced laterally and vertically complex sequences of deposits. The large-scale events influenced almost the entire area; problems of correlation emerge when considering episodes of relatively restricted extent such as those associated with upland ice-caps in the S and the hitherto unreported readvances which interrupted the withdrawalof ice-sheets across the northern part of the region under examination. Thetask of assigning the older units to particular Quaternary cold stages is frustrated by the absence of interstratified organic horizons. Two possible models of glaciation are considered: one may be regarded as ‘traditional’; the other requires a much shorter period of time by assuming that the stratigraphy records differences in the relative strengths of essentially contemporaneous ice-masses.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1978

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