Wild Atlantic Geology of Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Geology of Ireland in County Clare.

The Wild Atlantic Geology of Ireland in County Clare.

The Atlantic Ocean meets the limestone coast of the Burren Region in Ireland’s County Clare, an area sculpted over thousands of years — once covered by ice and now chiseled by the perpetual motion of waves.

The geology of Ireland, particularly in the Burren Region, is quite striking in its own way — 15,000 years ago, the area was covered by giant ice sheets several kilometers thick. When the ice receded, it had carved the unique landscape out of a limestone foundation.

Despite the rough geology and lack of significant soil, the Burren plays host to more than 70 percent of Ireland’s native plant species. Arctic and alpine plants co-exist alongside Mediterranean species.

The Atlantic Ocean, with its multi-faceted moods, continues to make its mark on the shoreline of this limestone plateau that geologists believe extends out to the Aran Islands.

They also believe this rocky base formed a land bridge between the islands and the mainland when sea levels were much lower.

Another aspect of the Irish ocean waters that continually amazes visitors is the rich blue color, a result of the warm Atlantic current flowing up into the northern climes.

This same current also is responsible for Ireland’s generally temperate weather, which can be quite mercurial as the warm currents clash with the cold Arctic currents.

Dark Clouds Parting over Western Ireland
Crannog at Lake Knockalough, County Clare, Ireland

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