The Upper Carboniferous Shannon Basin of western Ireland contains a more-than-2300-m-thick (7540 ft) basin-fill succession, shallowing upward from deep-water to deltaic and incised fluvial deposits. The deep-water basin floor and slope succession is world renowned as an analog for hydrocarbon-bearing deep-water sandstones on several continental margins such as the basins in East and West Africa, South America, the Gulf of Mexico, and not least offshore northwest Europe.
The Shannon Basin is frequently visited by both academia and industry for research and training purposes. A series of behind-outcrop research boreholes reveals the subsurface expression of the deep-water rocks and is complemented by seismic-scale cliff exposures. The succession is interpreted as a first-order basin-scale linked sedimentary system. This system can be analyzed using the principles of source-to-sink analysis and leaves the visitor with a complete picture of the basin fill, enhanced by spectacular sedimentological and stratigraphic detail.