C. N. Waters, 2011. "Offshore Western 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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This offshore area comprises two broadly NNE-trending Mesozoic and Tertiary basins present to the NW of Ireland: the larger Rockall Trough occurs to the NW of the interlinked Slyne Trough–Erris Trough–Donegal Basin (NW Offshore Basins). To the west of Ireland is the north-trending linked Main Porcupine–Seabight basins (Fig. 50). There has been little exploratory drilling in the basins, other than the Porcupine Basin (Croker & Shannon 1987), for which there are extensive seismic re?ection data. Carboniferous rocks up to 3 km thick are present within the Porcupine Basin, with deposits also recorded in the Goban Spur and NW Offshore Basins (Naylor 2001). Development of the Donegal Basin is considered to have initiated during the Carboniferous in response to dextral strike-slip displacement (Dobson & Whittington 1992). Geophysical data suggest the offshore extension of the Namurian Clare Basin, which may have existed as a west–east orientated Pennsylvanian basin, extending beneath the Porcupine Basin. The age of the sedimentary in?ll of the Rockall Trough is still uncertain and may extend back to Late Palaeozoic in age, although the main phase of extension is likely to be during the Cretaceous (Naylor 2001, and references therein).
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The report revises and expands upon the 1976 and 1978 publications for the Dinantian and Silesian, respectively, combining them into a single account of British and Irish Carboniferous stratigraphy. The need to update the two Special Reports reflects the considerable advances in Carboniferous geology over the last 30 years. The report covers developments in international chronostratigraphy and incorporates wholesale reassessments of British lithostratigraphy. A huge volume of biostratigraphical information has been published over recent decades and the report summarizes the key information.
Carboniferous rocks have long been of economic importance, but it is the search for hydrocarbons, in its infancy at the time of the previous reports, which has greatly increased our understanding of Carboniferous successions offshore and at depth, particularly in southern and eastern England.