Land and Sea Level Changes in Ireland

Land and Sea Level Changes in Ireland

Joseph Kelly and Daniel Belknap, University of Maine

Sam Kelley, Undergraduate Student

Andrew Cooper, University of Ulster

June 16, 2004 to June 27, 2004

Joseph Kelley    Dan Belknap    Sam Kelley

We will be studying land/sea level change in Ireland during the late Quaternary. We will collect cores offshore of Giants Causeway in hopes of finding materials that we can radiocarbon date that were formed on lower-than-present stands of sea level. We have worked there previously and identified targets through seismic reflection profiles. We will also collect ground-penetrating radar records over higher-than-present shorelines with the hope of similarly finding datable objects.

Giants Causeway

June 27, 2004

All of the cores have been stored for further analysis and the equipment is being packed up to be sent back to the US. Overall, the trip was a success despite many set backs that were completely out of our control. In addition to learning more about the seafloor off the coast of Northern Ireland, we also learned a great deal about international shipping.

June 25, 2004

Well the first and only full day of work is over. All of the equipment worked well, the ship turned out to be more that adequate for what we needed. The coring equipment didn’t penetrate very deeply due to a gravel and cobble stone layer that was hidden under a sand layer. This isn’t a problem at all, it merely confirms what a was under the sand layer.

June 24, 2004

Finally we are underway, with all the proper equipment stowed onboard. We managed to run a few practice cores in Belfast Lough, but had to return to port that night due to a large storm. We are a few days late, but we are now headed north to work just off shore of the northern coast of Ireland. The sea isn’t very rough, though it is on the edge of being too rough to work, hopefully tomorrow the wind from the south will calm the waves down.

June 23, 2004

The equipment has finally made it to Belfast, though now it is being held in a bonded ware-house. The company that shipped it here is now claiming that a bond equal in value of the equipment must be posted prior to it being released. This is common practice for commercial goods that will be sold for profit, the hang up is that the equipment is only for scientific uses and there for should be exempt from the bond.

June 22, 2004

We have found out where the equipment is… Liverpool, England. What was supposed to be a direct ship from New York to Ireland has turned into a mess, with different customs agencies claiming tariffs and taxes on the equipments passage and with the itinerary for the equipment now having it come through Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, instead of Belfast which is in Northern Ireland.

June 21, 2004

Today we drove to Belfast to see the vessel we would be working from, despite the fact that we still haven’t received the coring equipment. The ship is named the Lough Foyle, and is a converted fishing trawler, now used as one of the primary research vessels in the region. The Lough Foyle is very well equipped for our purposes, the key piece of equipment being the 25 foot A-frame that will be used to hoist the 6 meter core barrels over the rear of the ship. Now we only wait for the equipment that was supposed to arrive 5 days ago.

June 20, 2004

As of now none of the coring equipment has arrived in Ireland. Another frustration for the American scientists is that culturally, the Irish do not generally work over weekends. Therefore progress has been very slow in obtaining information on exactly where the coring equipment is or when it is going to arrive. Personally, I rather enjoy the Irish work mentality, it has left weekends wide open to see more of the Irish countryside, which has been spectacular.

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