Geology < Back

Irish shore image

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.

High sea cliffs, stony coves, sandy beaches and estuarine mud flats present an open invitation to explore a wild and varied shoreline. The cliff-face rock formations on the southwest and north sides of the peninsula trace the evolution of a great river delta during the Upper Carboniferous Period, about 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 earthʼs plates folded and 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. Amazing sand volcanoes are visible along the upper surface of these folds.

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