Litho- and biostratigraphy, Carboniferous, Northern Ireland

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Mitchell, W I (ed.). 2004. The geology of Northern Ireland-our natural foundation. Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, Belfast.

W I Mitchell

Geological map of Northern Ireland showing the Carboniferous outcrop. (P947815)

The first Carboniferous lithostratigraphy for the north of Ireland was erected in Co. Sligo in the 19th Century by the Geological Survey. In 1955, a geographical name was attributed to each of the original units and thus laid the foundation for the current lithostratigraphical framework [1].

This description of the Carboniferous rocks starts with the four outliers in the eastern part of Northern Ireland at Ballycastle, Cultra, Castle Espie and Carlingford (P947815).

This is followed by a north-south traverse covering the outcrop in Co. Londonderry, east Co. Tyrone, the Newtownstewart outlier and Co. Armagh. Although the largest Carboniferous outcrop is in the southwest part of Northern Ireland the description of those rocks concludes this section and immediately precedes the palaeogeographical section which is based on that continuous succession for its detailed reconstruction of events.

Eastern Carboniferous outliers of Ballycastle, Cultra, Castle Espie and Carlingford
Co. Londonderry
Fintona Block
Co. Armagh
East Co. Tyrone
Newtownstewart Outlier
Co. Fermanagh-south Co. Tyrone
Derrygonnelly-Marble Arch-Cuilcagh Mountain


  1. Oswald, D H. 1955. The Carboniferous rocks between the Ox Mountains and Donegal Bay. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, 111, 167–83.