W. I. Mitchell, I. D. Somerville, 2011. "Northern Ireland", A Revised Correlation of Carboniferous Rocks in the British Isles, C. N. Waters, I. D. Somerville, N. S. Jones, C. J. Cleal, J. D. Collinson, R. A. Waters, B. M. Besly, M. T. Dean, M. H. Stephenson, J. R. Davies, E. C. Freshney, D. I. Jackson, W. I. Mitchell, J. H. Powell, W. J. Barclay, M. A. E. Browne, B. E. Leveridge, S. L. Long, D. McLean
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During the Carboniferous, Northern Ireland straddled a zone of dextral strike-slip faulting, comparable to the Midland Valley of Scotland (see Chapter 14). The earliest Mississippian marine transgression reached Northern Ireland in the late Tournaisian (CM Miospore Biozone) and from then until the mid-Arnsbergian Substage (E2b1 Subzone) the sediment fill was deposited in close proximity to the northern margin of the basin. Metamorphic rocks of the Central Highlands (Grampian) Terrane to the north were repeatedly exposed during episodes of marine regression. In the SE of the region it appears that the Southern Uplands-Down-Longford Terrane was finally submerged in the late Asbian or early Brigantian. The cumulative thickness of 7000 m is represented mainly by Tournaisian, Visean and lower Namurian rocks in Co. Fermanagh, the Fintona Block, peripheral sections at Coalisland and isolated basins such as Newtownstewart, all in Co. Tyrone (Fig. 51). The most continuous outcrop and succession extend from Co. Fermanagh and south Co. Tyrone into north Co. Armagh. The Carboniferous outcrop in the eastern part of Northern Ireland is reduced to outliers at Ballycastle in Co. Antrim, and in Co. Down at Cultra, Castle Espie and Carlingford Lough. During the Pennsylvanian, much of Northern Ireland was land, and strata of this age are limited in extent to the Fintona Block and east Co. Tyrone (Fig. 51).