Resources

Ireland

The Burren

The Burren is located in northwest County Clare, on Ireland’s western coastline. In geological terms, the Burren is a superb example of a glaciokarst landscape. The region is underlain by limestone, a soluble rock, which has dissolved to form an array of unusual surface and underground karst landforms that have been modified by the effects of glaciation.

The Burren covers an area of approximately 360 km2 and is bounded to the north by Galway Bay, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the east by a distinctive scarp in the landscape and to the south by the boundary with different rock types (shales, siltstones and sandstones).

Of the 100km of Atlantic coastline in the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher make up 8km of this extensive coastline.  Much of the Burren landscape is at an elevation of 100m – 200m above sea-level, with a maximum height of 344m at Slieve Elva. The Burren is renowned for being of significant importance in terms of geology, archaeology, ecology, music, dancing, literature and cultural history.

The Burren’s Karst Limestone Landscape

Examples of glaciokarst landforms in the Burren include limestone pavements, dolines and uvalas (enclosed depressions), gorges, springs, swallowholes (where streams disappear underground), dry valleys (no longer occupied by rivers), caves, glacial striae, glacial erratics, turloughs (seasonal lakes) and karren (small-scale hollows and channels on the limestone surface).

These natural features are superimposed by a multitude of archaeological monuments spanning thousands of years and sequester a rich flora. The whole effect is to generate a vast, varied, remarkably beautiful and wild landscape treasured by local inhabitants and visitors alike!

New Burren Geology Publications

A new 64 page illustrated book on the geology of the Burren, with a detailed guide to the geology, landscape and cultural history at nine geosites throughout the Burren.
Authors: Ronán Hennessy, Maria McNamara & Zena Hoctor

Read more…

Stone, Water & Ice: A 64 page illustrated book on the geology of the Burren

Teachers & Schools Pack

Click on the images below to download examples of the Burren NEED geo-education information sheets.

Read more…

How Rocks are Formed – Teacher's Information Sheet 5

The Burren Fossils – Teacher's Information Sheet 8

Geoscientific Guide to the Burren

A newly published 36 page guide to the geology of the Burren has been published as part of the NEED project. This guide gives detailed information on the lithology , stratigraphy, palaeontology, geomorphology, karst landscapes and mineral resources in the Burren

Authors: Maria McNamara & Ronán Hennessy.

Read more…

The Geology of the Burren Region (cover)

The Geology of the Burren Region (page 12)



Themes: Elements of Geology, Geological Materials, Landscape,
Countries: ireland 
Attachments: video(1) 

Movie: The Burren’s Archaeology & History

Themes: Climate Change, Elements of Geology, Landscape,
Countries: ireland 
Attachments: video(1) 

Movie: The Burren’s Geology and Landscape

Movie: The Burren’s Geology and Landscape

The Burren’s Geology and Landscape movie:

Themes: Landscape,
Countries: ireland 
Attachments: images(6)  documents(2) 

Farm Heritage Tours – The Burren

Farm Heritage Tours – The Burren

This educational resource is designed for members of the Clare Farm Heritage Tours Co-op. Guided Farm Tours are both educational and fun, allowing you to learn about the Burren landscape – direct from the people who live and work in the Burren.

There is simply no guide like a local guide!

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Themes: Elements of Geology, Landscape,
Countries: ireland 
Attachments: images(4)  documents(2) 

The Burren Centre: Geo-Education

The Burren Centre: Geo-Education

The Burren Centre in Kilfenora is a wonderful place to embark on a trip through the history of the Burren’s natural and cultural landscape.  The exhibition – ‘A Walk through Time‘ – allows you to see many of the features of the Burren in an exciting and informative way.

Themes: Elements of Geology, Landscape,
Countries: ireland 
Attachments: images(4)  documents(7) 

Burrenbeo Trust: Geo-Education

Burrenbeo Trust: Geo-Education

The Burrenbeo Trust is an environmental education and conservation charity. Burrenbeo runs the Ecobeo primary schools programme – a heritage education programme designed to raise an awareness of the Burren’s vast and varied heritage among primary school students…

Themes: Elements of Geology, Geological Materials,
Countries: ireland 
Attachments: images(2)  documents(13) 

Burren Outdoor Education Centre: Geo-Education

Burren Outdoor Education Centre: Geo-Education

The Burren Outdoor Education Centre is situated amid curved limestone hills and provides quality outdoor education experiences to people of all ages.

At the Burren Outdoor Education Centre, you can explore the unique Burren landscape at first hand, experience an array of challenging adventures, and learn about the environment…

Themes: Elements of Geology, Landscape,
Countries: ireland 
Attachments: images(6)  documents(8) 

Cliffs of Moher: Geo-Education

Cliffs of Moher: Geo-Education

At the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience you can learn about the formation of these famous cliffs; why they are of such international importance in terms of natural and geological heritage; and why the cliffs are a Special Protection Area. At the Cliffs of Moher, you can learn about  the cliffs either indoors in the Atlantic Edge exhibition, or outdoors on the cliffs themselves. A Cliffs Ranger can provide information about learning activities.

Themes: Climate Change, Elements of Geology, Geological Materials, Landscape,
Countries: ireland 
Attachments: images(1)  documents(1) 

Burren National Park: Geo-Education

Burren National Park: Geo-Education

At the Burren National Park, you can explore the fascinating karst environment of the Burren as you trek along the established walking routes that cross the national park.

You can also learn about all the habitats in the National Park – and appreciate the wonderful natural history that makes this part of the Burren so important to environmental and geological conservation.