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Abstract

INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY GEOLOGY

Devonian and Carboniferous sedimentary rocks are extensively preserved in southwest Ireland along the coastal zone between Kerry Head and Hook Head (Fig. 1) and exhibit a complex sedimentary history. Initial basin development may have taken place in the Dingle Peninsula region where a Lower-Middle Devonian succession accumulated in a localized basin known as the Dingle Basin. To the south, the northeastsouthwest trending Munster Basin (Figs. 2a and 2b) developed as a half graben in response to north-south crustal tension (Naylor and Jones, 1967; Naylor et al., 1981). The Munster Basin contains in excess of 7km of dominantly non-marine Devonian sediment (Fig. 2c) with the oldest known sediments being of late Middle Devonian age (Clayton and Graham, 1974; Russell, 1978; Higgs and Russell, 1981). The base of this succession is exposed around the basin margin and rests with sharp angular unconformity upon highly deformed Lower Paleozoic rocks (Capewell, 1956; Colthurst, 1978; MacCarthy et al. 1978; Clayton et al., 1981; Gardiner and Home, 1983; MacCarthy, 1983).

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