A three-month geological expedition to gather data on the history of sea level change along Ireland´s spectacular coastline has produced new evidence about the Emerald Isle's historical relationship with Scotland.
University of Maine geologist Joe Kelley, and fellow researchers Andrew Cooper and Derek Jackson of the University of Ulster used seismic reflection and coring techniques, finely tuned through years of similar data collection in the Gulf of Maine, to disprove some previous theories about the composition of marine sediments. The data suggest that Ireland was never linked to Scotland via a land bridge, thus answering an important geological and anthropological question.
Using carbon dating of buried seashells as a temporal point of reference, Kelley examined the stratification of sand, gravel and marine mud deposits, establishing a timeline for the emergence of the unique geological characteristics of the Irish coast spanning tens of thousands of years. That timeline contradicts the long-held notion that Ireland´s first human population walked to Ireland from Scotland.
long-held notion that Ireland´s first human population walked to Ireland from Scotland.