D. A. T. Harper, M. A. Parkes, 2000. "Ireland", A revised correlation of Ordovician Rocks in the British Isles, R. A. Fortey, D. A. T. Harpe, J. K. Ingham, A. W Owen, M. A. Parkes, A. W. A. Rushton, N. H. Woodcock
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Despite the relatively small size of the island, Ireland contains a huge diversity of Ordovician rocks and fossils developed across a variety of palaeotectonic terranes. The initial review by J. C. Harper (1949) of the Ordovician together with the Silurian rocks of Ireland covered 24 areas of Lower Palaeozoic rocks and confirmed the importance of the island in the development of geosynclinal models for the early Palaeozoic rocks of Britain (Jones 1938). Over 50 years later the Ordovician rocks of Ireland continue to provide critical data for plate tectonic and terrane models for this part of the Caledonian orogen, and in addition Ireland contains several smaller terranes not recognized elsewhere. Moreover many localities contain key shelly and graptolite faunas with critical taxonomic, biogeographical and biostratigraphical information. The first edition of the Ordovician correlation charts for Ireland included data for 13 columns, portrayed as a series of isolated inliers (Williams in Williams et al. 1972, fig. 10). Subsequent detailed work by individuals, research groups (including IGCP project 233) and fieldwork and compilations by the geological surveys of Ireland and Northern Ireland has necessitated an expansion to over 30 columns. In addition terrane analysis of the isolated and discontinuous outcrops of Ordovician rocks across the island (Hutton 1987; Harper & Parkes 1989; Murphy et al. 1991) has provided a collective framework within which to view the Ordovician development of Ireland.
Figures & Tables
This Report is revised and expanded from the 1972 publication providing an up-to-the-minute account of the British Ordovician formations and their correlation nationally and internationally. It also includes the most comprehensive treatment of Ireland ever attempted. The reference list of a comprehensive bibliography of papers on the subject published since 1970.
The British sections are the type for the Ordovician System and classical in stratigraphical, tectonic and volcanic studies. The Charts bring together 30 years of research over the period in which plate tectonics has revolutionized our understanding of the Lower Palaeozoic rocks of the British Isles.
This Special Report will be a valuable reference for research and applied geoscientists working with rocks of Ordovician age. It will be of particular interest to those working in, or visiting, the Welsh mountains and the English Lake District.