Between rocks and hard places: discovering Ireland's northern landscapes

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Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, Oct 27, 2010 - Political Science - 112 pages
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Illustrating the variety of the Irish landscapes this book explores the landscapes that are linked to rocks and the rocks to history, past and present. For its size there is a great range of rock types and rock ages in the northern third of Ireland.Interspersed with the brief text are sections entitled Mythology and Geology. Here will be found stories of Finn McCool, who of course was a wellknown local giant, the Children of Lir, the tragedy of Finngheal, the speaking horse of Benlaughlin, Cālann's Hound, the sacred waters of the Shannon Pot and more. Then there is Ireland's World Tour which traces the origin of our rocks to distant places before they came together in the emerald isle. Sections headed - Did you know, explains some of the natural wonders like Sligo's coral reefs, the Marble Arch Caves and the equivalent of Death Valley in Co Down. Forces that changed the landscape describes the volcanic past with yet more facts and fiction/mythology. Then the story moves to times when humans arrived on these shores. The Axe Factor is about the Stone Age and how local axes transformed life and the landscape. Prominent Monuments follows the theme of the prehistoric peoples and their stone circles and dolmens. The Era of Buildings takes the reader through to the Middle Ages with castles, crosses and temples. Then it moves on to more modern times and the buildings of the last century. Finally, a chapter called Ancient Resources, Modern Dilemmas. Perhaps most surprising will be how much use has been made of the natural resources, yet the wounds to the landscape have mostly healed. Now another phase of mineral and gas exploration is upon us. New sorts of maps are being developed to meet modern needs, which will include coping with a growing population in a seemingly ever more wasteful and energy inefficient society.

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About the author (2010)

Paul Lyle lectures in geology at the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, County Antrim. He has considerable experience of conducting field trips in the north of Ireland for visitors at all levels of experience in geology . He is a Chartered Geologist and a Fellow of the Geological Society.

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