Geophysical surveys in the Malin Sea have revealed the presence of two asymmetric fault bounded basins, here termed the Loch Indaal basin and the Rathlin trough. They extend in a NE–SW direction between Northern Ireland and Western Scotland, and are thought to be largely Permo-Triassic in age. Four major fault belts have also been identified, together with a large number of igneous bodies, the latter having been confirmed by dredge sampling. In addition the offshore extents of the Fanad and Thorr Plutons have been delineated.

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