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This may well be of interest to IQUA members

Glacial Landforms Working Group NI Field Meeting: The Quaternary Glaciation of the Mournes, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. 27th - 30th October 2016

Preliminary Programme
The glacial geology of Northern Ireland, like much of the UK, is characterised by a contrast between complete ice sheet coverage during the last glacial maximum and local upland ice cap glaciations typical of average glacial conditions during the Quaternary. Recent studies by the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University have contributed to understandings of the style and timing of the Late-glacial re-advance in Co. Down, as well as the nature and extent of upland glaciations in the Mountains of Mourne. The coastal location of the Mournes has resulted in a complex interplay between local icefield glaciers, the Irish Sea Ice stream and regional scale ice cap outlet glaciers.
This fieldtrip will introduce the range large scale glacial landforms that reflect processes operating beneath the Irish Ice Sheet at Last Glacial Maximum (glacial breaches, Rogen moraines, drumlins, glacial lineations and subglacial meltwater channels). Field visits will provide insights into the style and rate of ice retreat in the Irish Sea. We will be looking for evidence of small ice-cap style glaciation of the Mountains of Mourne during field visits to the Annalong valley.
Two and a half field days are planned, preceded by introductory talks on Thursday evening in Newcastle, Co. Down.

Day 0 (Thursday evening) Registration and introductory talk, Newcastle, Co. Down.
Sam Roberson, Mark Cooper, Iestyn Barr, Paul Dunlop and Jon Merritt.
Day 1 (Friday) Mountains of Mourne – Bloody Bridge, Annalong valley moraines, Blue Lough, Slieve Binnian tors.
Leaders: Sam Roberson, Peter Wilson
Day 2 (Saturday) The Mourne Plain - Cranfield Moraine, Derryoge harbour and Killkeel steps.
Leaders: Jon Merritt, Mark Cooper, Sam Roberson
Day 3 (Sunday morning -until 1.00pm) Drumlins and Rogens - Slieve Croob, Waringsford and Ballynahinch.
Leaders: Paul Dunlop and Jon Merritt.


Sam Roberson, Mark Cooper, Jon Merritt (British Geological Survey); Iestyn Barr (Queen’s University Belfast), Paul Dunlop, Peter Wilson, Michael Dempster (Ulster University), Jasper Knight (University of Witwatersrand).

Maximum number of participants: 50
Registration is free. Other costs will involve accommodation (see below) and a field guide (estimated at £15).
Please register by emailing the registration form to Please indicate if you want a place in the pre-booked hostel accommodation (see below).
You will then be contacted via e-mail with a confirmation of your place and payment information.
We have booked the Hutt Hostel in Newcastle, Co. Down, ( which can accommodate up to 40 people. The cost will be £55 p.p. for three nights. Towels are available for a fee £2.50. There are probably not enough for everybody so you are encouraged to bring your own.
For those wishing to book their own accommodation, Newcastle is a thriving seaside resort and there are a range of reasonable value B&Bs in the town.

Further Information

Sam Roberson ( or Iestyn Barr (






Viewing a Section, South Irish Coast

In 2015 the QRA teamed up with IQUA to explore the south coast of Ireland between the 25th and 29th of September. We visited classic sections in Blackwater Harbour, Ely House, Kilmore Quay, Bannow, Courtmacsherry and Howes Strand.

We looked at the remains of a pingo, corries and a cave with new excavation of Pleistocene layers. We heard about deglaciation, peat initiation and vegetation change. We wandered through a Viking town and found out about the reconstruction of its environments thanks to insect analysis. We even cored an interglacial deposit. The original booking and information form is archived here.


Below you can find the details of IQUA's successful 2014 Field Meeting, "Quaternary & Culture in Limerick", which took place from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September. You can also click on the Field Meeting poster to the right to open and save a pdf with event details.

To see individual site locations please go to the OSI Mapviewer and under ‘Search’ by ‘Co-ordinates’ and ‘Zoom to’.

Friday 19th

At Greenhills Hotel Limerick IR 554628, 658280

- Overview of geology and geomorphology of Limerick/Shannon Estuary Region – Margaret Browne.
20.00 - Tidal Embankments on the Shannon Estuary - Michael Collins (Office of Public Works).

Staurday 20th

10.00 - Mungret limestone quarry & Irish Cement

12.00 - Grange Stone Circle – Rose Cleary & James O’Driscoll (UCC).

Take Route R512 in the  direction of Ballyneety IR 563221, 640457

13.00 - Lunch at Reardons (Holycross) on R512 at junction with L1412 IR 563305, 639646.

14.30 - Lough Gur - Rose Cleary & James O’Driscoll (UCC) (Archaeology); Richard Langford & Tara Foley (Hydrogeology); Catherine Dalton (MIC) (Palaeolimnology) IR 564661, 641483.

Evening Free.

Sunday 21st

09.30 - Mooghaun Late Bronze Age Hill fort, Dromoland Co. Clare - Karen Molloy (NUIG).

Take the N18/M18 north towards Galway. Take exit 11 and follow signs to Newmarket-on-Fergus on the R458. Take the first left before Newmarket on Fergus.  Continue along for c.2km to Parking area on left hand side of road. IR Grid: 540733, 670287.

11.30 - Lunch at Crottys Pub, Market Square Kilrush IR 499554, 655128

13.00 - Scattery Island (weather permitting) –  Various Guides

Meet at Scattery Island Ferries, Kilrush Marina. IR 497146, 652368.

17.00 approx. - Return to Kilrush Marina


IQUA North Mayo Field Meeting - September 2013 - Poster
IQUA's 2013 North Mayo Field Meeting took place from September 20-22. We last visited this fascinating area in 1991, but since then several field seasons of detailed excavations, surveys and environmental work have greatly deepened our understanding of this beautiful stretch of coastline, in particular regarding the Mesolithic and Neolithic inhabitants of the area and the environmental context of their settlements.

IQUA was fortunate to have leaders with the expertise of Graeme Warren, Steve Davis, Seamus Caulfield, Steve McCarron and Mike Philcox for the weekend. The field guide that was prepared for this meeting is available for purchase in print and pdf format on the the IQUA field guide's webpage.

Click on the image to the right to download a pdf of the field meeting's poster. The original field meeting programme and schedule is given below.


Fri 20th Sept

19.30–20.30: ‘A Landscape Fossilised’: Archaeology and Palaeoenvironmental Research in North Mayo. A short presentation by Seamas Caulfield and Graeme Warren setting the context for the weekend fieldtrip. Wine and nibbles to follow.

Location: Belderrig Research and Study Centre,

After the talk, we retreated to the Belderrig Bay Hotel, otherwise known as ’The Pub’.

Sat 21st Sept

09.00–13.00: Meet at Belderrig Research and Study Centre at 9am. The intention is for most cars to park at the Centre, as space at the Harbour is restricted.  Anyone arriving post-9.30 please rendezvous at Belderrig Harbour.

Walking tour of Belderrig, included:

* Belderrig Harbour glacial sections (incl. ‘shelly drift’ (McCabe, 1986) and extensive sections east of Harbour)
* Mesolithic-Neolithic archaeological site at Belderg More (Warren 2009)
* Neolithic-Bronze Age prehistoric ‘farm’ at Belderg Beg (Caulfield 1978, 1983) and associated fossil pine forests (Caulfield et al 1998)
* Palaeoenvironmental sampling locations (Verrill & Tipping 2010 a & b)

13.00–14.00: Lunch (soup & sandwiches) at Belderrig Research and Study Centre & short talk to introduce glacial history of area.

14.00-18.00: Tours of glacial sections in valleys east of Belderrig, as far east as Ballycastle, time permitting (incl. Glenulra Valley; McCabe et al., 2007). Car sharing from Belderrig ideally. First Stop: Conaghra valley (GR 54.31, -9.50). 

Sun 22nd Sept 

On Sunday the Trip proceeded eastwards and did not return through Belderrig.

10.00–12.30: Céide Fields: Walking tour of Céide Fields including Behy court tomb and the visitor centre (Caulfield 1978, 1983, Caulfield et al 1998, Molloy & O’Connell 1995, O’Connell & Molloy 2001; see also Caseldine et al 2005).

12.30–13.30: Lunch at Céide Fields café.

13.30 onwards: Visit to glaciotectonics sections around Killala Bay; incl. Kilcummin Head (west side of Bay, 15km east of Ballycastle) and (optionally) Carrownedin, Enniscrone (east side of Bay; GR 54.23, -9.09). 

***Click here for details of 2012's IQUA Field Meeting to Roscommon & Sligo.

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