Project Title: Palaeogeographic reconstruction of the North Atlantic – an integrated approach.
Researcher: Robert Murphy
The geology of Ireland encompasses sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. Erosional processes (e.g. rivers, wind) at the earth’s surface lead to deposits forming in low lying areas known as sedimentary basins. Sedimentary rocks (e.g. sandstone, shale) form when these deposits are buried beneath successive layers. Individual layers represent time intervals where climate and tectonic conditions were relatively constant. My project involves studying these layers, with a view to preparing images that will show what these ancient landscapes looked like, from the mountains all the way out to deep ocean deposits beyond continental shelf margins. This multi-basin project involves building regional paleogeographic reconstructions for selected stratigraphic intervals. A multi-disciplinary approach is being used to critically assess disparate datasets from both onshore and offshore Ireland, with a view to building basin wide reconstructions of depositional environments. As well as assessing depositional environments within basins, reconstructions will include linking provenance areas and sediment pathways into basins.