Kilkenny, Ireland 500 Million years ago
During the week I posted an article about the area around the mountain of Slievenamon, County Kilkenny.
I hope over the summer to post many times about this area and show many of the foot hills along with the main mountain itself. A fellow blogger margaret, suggested that the formation of the mountain and the oval shape of the extending foot hills could be volcanic in their origins, I do think at some point in the long distant past this could be true.
I found the following summary of the geological history of county Kilkenny so I am going to share it here as I found it fascinating to think of some 500 million years of history of Ireland and its Geology.
Also a Gallery of images that show some of the amazing ice age rocks and landscape formations that can be found through out this great little part of the world.
Geologic History of Kilkenny
500 Million years ago – Sedimentary rock formed under parts of eastern Kilkenny, which was
under the sea.
400 Million years ago – the two parts of Ireland, the island, were fused together under the ocean.
400 Million years ago – the mountains at Brandon and the uplands at Tullogher were formed, again
under the sea.
350 Million years ago – Kilkenny was at a dry land stage with plant life that fossilized into the
yellow sandstones of Kiltorcan.
345 Million years ago – Kilkenny was submerged for about 20 Million years under a tropical shallow
ocean. Lime deposits from this era eventually became the limestone found commonly in
Kilkenny and Ireland. The polished limestone provides the famous Kilkenny marble.
320 million years ago – Kilkenny covered by a muddy delta and swamps, with deposits eventually
forming todays sandstones and coal.
250 Million years ago – a mountain building era resulting in the east-west mountains of Munster,
and the Walsh Mountain area between Millinavat and Slievenamon.
2 Million years ago – Ice age glacial periods intermixed with cold and warm periods begin.
500,000 years ago – A warm period known as the Gortian. Kilkenny is covered by forest of birch,
oak, pine, leder, fir, holly, yew, heather and grass.
200,000 years ago – A cold period lasting 70,000 years called the Munsterian. All of Kilkenny (and
Ireland) is covered by a sea of ice. Movement of Glaciers helped form the soil of today.
130,000 years ago – A warm period known as the Glenavian lasting about 60,000 years with climate
much like today.
70,000 years ago – A cold phase lasting about 60,000 years known as the Midlandian stage. Ice
sheets covered the northern half of Kilkenny, from Callan to Goresbridge. The southern have
would have included tundra grasslands and some woodland. Animal life is noted during this
time, including wooly mammoths, wolf, arctic fox, brown bear, the giant Irish Elk, reindeer
10,000 years ago – The ice begins to melt, sea levels begin to rise and plants begin to reappear
in all of Kilkenny.
9,000 years ago – A birch dominated forest covers much of Kilkenny.
8,000 years ago – Hazel and pine become part of the forest population.
Landscape and Geological Gallery