Category Archives: tectonics

The South Mayo Trough: tiny grains record huge events

Sedimentary basins have been described as ‘tape recorders’ that preserve evidence of past events. Some sedimentary basins contain ‘recordings’ of grand tectonic events – plate collisions and mountain building. The information is stored as subtle but compelling patterns in the … Continue reading

Categories: Ireland, metamorphism, sediments, tectonics

Telling stories about Irish Geology

I clearly remember the most important moment of my geological career. I was resting my back on a glacially-polished wall of gabbro, my feet in an Irish bog, talking to myself in the sunshine.¬†As a young man with bushy hair … Continue reading

Categories: Ireland, metamorphism, mountains, tectonics

Structural Geology by the Deformation numbers

Structural geologists seek to understand how rocks have changed shape, in order to better understand wider processes such as how mountains are formed. Sometimes they use a terminology called ‘Deformation-numbers’ which I will now explain via a series of pretty … Continue reading

Categories: Ireland, metamorphism, tectonics

The Grampian / Taconic orogeny in Ireland – when arcs attack

Ever since the plate tectonic paradigm-shift of the 1960s, geologists have strived to understand ancient rocks in terms of the movements of plates. The geology of north-western Ireland can be explained by what happened when a subduction zone ran out … Continue reading

Categories: Ireland, metamorphism, mountains, subduction, tectonics