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Abstract

DISTRIBUTION AND AGE OF UPPER PALEOZOIC VOLCANIC ROCKS

Volcanic rocks of Upper Paleozoic age are widespread throughout Europe, where they range from alkaline basalts through arc-type calc-alkaline basalts and andesites, to ophiolites and to acid ignimbrites.

In Ireland and the UK, volcanic rocks consist of mildly alkaline basalts and their derivatives. The two greatest thicknesses of volcanic rocks occur in the Midland Valley of Scotland and in the Limerick Syncline, Ireland.

In Ireland, Lower Carboniferous volcanic rocks are found on the margins of both the Shannon Trough (Strogen, 1988) and the Dublin Basin. Coarse volcanic breccias, in most cases occupying vents, are found scattered across the Irish Midlands e.g., Croghan Hill, southeast of Lough Ennell and near Edenderry (the last two known from boreholes; Fig. 1). Float of similar breccias is found widely within areas of Courceyan rocks e.g. around Moate (Strogen, 1974a). Thin ash-fall tuffs occur across the west Midlands (Fig. 1). and intrusive, tuffisites are also common

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