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Cliffs, Kilkee, County Clare, tourist attractions in Ireland

For the independent traveller with a love of geology, Loop Head is a paradise. The story of the shape of our landscape is easily legible in the cliffs and rock formations around the peninsula.

The cliff face exposures of the South-West and North sides of the Loop Head Peninsula have been the subject of study by geologists since the late 1950s, as they illustrate the development of a large scale submarine fan delta which evolved over 7 or 8 million years, during the Upper Carboniferous Period, 320 million years ago.

Imagine the Mississippi delta today and you will have an idea of what West Clare looked like then. Later movements of the earth’s plates tilted the beds of sedimentary rock, producing the awe inspiring natural architecture we see today. Exposures of sedimentary folds at the Bridges of Ross show extensive deformation by small scale faults. Sand volcanoes are visible along the upper surface of these folds.

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