Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Publication
    Facies and internal stratigraphic variability in the Ross Sandstone Formation (Pennsylvanian), western Ireland - new borehole data from south of the Shannon Estuary
    (International Association of Sedimentologists, 2013-09) ; ; ;
    The 500 m thick Ross Sandstone Formation is well exposed in sea cliffs facing the Atlantic and along the Shannon Estuary in western Ireland. It forms the sandy deep-water part of a major shallowing-upward Pennsylvanian succession. Over the last four years, a major behind-outcrop drilling program targeting the Ross Sandstone Formation has been undertaken, focussing primarily on the Loop Head peninsula in west Clare. This has provided a full composite Ross cored section that underpins a new understanding of bed-scale variability and the wider evolution of the system. The focus has recently shifted to the key Ballybunion section on the south side of the River Shannon, obliquely down-dip from the Loop Head area (c. 18 km from the tip of the Loop) and is important in that previous outcrop studies have inferred that (1) the distinctive character of the lower Ross here with its abundant hybrid event beds may reflect a marginal position; and (2) extra sandy section may be present in the uppermost Ross due to offset stacking of the youngest sandy lobes. Two new cores are now available ¿behind¿ the Ballybunion section - a 200 m PQ borehole straddling the lower Ross and the upper part of the underlying Clare Shale Formation (12-CE-UCD-09), and a 151.5 m long, cored slimhole with associated wireline log data acquired by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI 09/05). The latter is 1.1 km along strike from coastal exposures of the upper Ross and the study reported here focusses on the relationship of the section acquired in this borehole to the local cliffs and to upper Ross outcrops on the north side of the River Shannon at Kilcredaun, some 4.6 km away. Correlation is based on goniatite-rich ¿marine bands¿, legacy biostratigraphic data (new determinations are underway), and a number of laterally extensive slump bodies which form distinctive marker beds.   The GSI 09/05 core contains three thin goniatite-rich levels, and a fourth candidate level, each interpreted as marine bands. These separate sand-prone packages, interpreted as stacked isolated to amalgamated lobe units, and at least two mass-transport units (MTDs), the lower and thickest of which is 25.5 m thick (true thickness). In the local cliffs to the west, all four marine bands can be identified, as well as the two MTDs. In addition, a third MTD is more obvious in the cliff. The lobe sandstones are dominated by deposits of high-density turbidity currents; amalgamated sandbodies become more abundant upwards. Hybrid event beds are rare (<10%) compared to lower in the formation. At least 50% of the sandbodies extend from the core to the adjacent outcrop without change; the remainder show a change from deposition from high- to low-concentration flows or vice versa. Overall, the Ballybunion Ross section is 480 m thick, broadly similar to the thickness established by drilling on the Loop. At longer length scales, all but the upper marine band are found at Kilcredaun. Correlatives of the two MTD units also occur in the core here, although the thickest slump has become thinner and muddier. Nonetheless this MTD unit can be traced widely across the Loop as a distinctive couplet. As correlated, the Ballybunion outcrop and core suggest there may not be an additional younger sandbody in this area, however the location appears axial and down-dip rather than marginal in character overall.
      153
  • Publication
    Down-dip Termination of Sandy Fan Systems - New Insight from the Pennsylvanian Ross Sandstone Formation, Western Ireland
    New and legacy borehole constraints and outcrop work on the eastward extension of the Ross Formation help constrain the down-dip character of the fan stack.
      75
  • Publication
    Sedimentology of the upper Ross Formation (Pennsylvanian) in borehole GSI 09/05 at Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
    The Pennsylvanian Ross Sandstone Formation is well exposed around the Shannon Estuary, in western Ireland. It forms the deep-water part of a major shallowing-upward succession filling the Clare Basin and it has been extensively used as a turbidite reservoir analogue and for subsurface training.   Since 2009, a major program of behind-outcrop drilling targeting the Ross Sandstone Formation has been undertaken in west Co. Clare (Loop Head) and across the Shannon estuary in Co. Kerry. To date, most of the focus has been on boreholes acquired on Loop Head. These have provided a composite vertical section through the Ross Sandstone Formation and a framework for interpreting bed type variations and overall system evolution. Now, the emphasis is changing to examine lateral variability away from Loop Head using a new core at Ballybunion in the lowermost Ross Sandstone Formation, together with legacy data and two recent GSI slim-holes (at Inishcorker and Ballybunion).   This poster focuses on first results from the GSI 09/05 borehole, located c.4.3 km north of Ballybunion town. This 150 m long slim-hole core intersects the upper Ross Formation as confirmed by correlation with a measured outcrop section on the adjacent cliff c.1.2 km away. Correlation is based on goniatite-rich "marine bands", distinctive thick sandstone units and slump bodies. Three marine bands are identified, the uppermost being unusually thick (c.4.5 m) and provisionally equated with the R. paucicrenulatum band marking the top of the Ross Sandstone Formation on Loop Head. The core records an upward transition from well-bedded sandstones (turbidites and subordinate hybrid event beds) interpreted as stacked lobe deposits to more amalgamated sandstones towards the top of the formation indicating increased channelisation. A major composite slump body (25 m thick) occurs below the central marine band. This remobilised both sand-prone and silty deposits and is significantly thicker than any of the slump units identified in the Loop Head cores and outcrop.
      117
  • Publication
    Down-dip Termination of Sandy Fan Systems - New Insight from the Pennsylvanian Ross Sandstone Formation, Western Ireland
    The Pennsylvanian Ross Sandstone Fm. in western Ireland forms part of a thick (>2200m) progradational and shallowing-upward basin-fill succession. New and legacy borehole constraints and outcrop work on the eastward extension of the Ross help constrain the down-dip character at different levels in the fan stack.
      104
  • Publication
    The Clare Shale - Basal Ross Formation Contact, Western Ireland - New Insight from Behind-Outcrop Cores
    A recent behind - outcrop drilling program targeting the Ross Formation has focussed on the Loop Head peninsula in west Clare. This has provided a fully-cored composite Ross section (490 m thick) that underpins a new understanding of bed-scale variability and the vertical evolution of the system . The work programme h as now been broadened to include the key Ballybunion section on the south side of the Shannon which sits obliquely down-dip (to the east) of Loop Head (c. 18 km away).
      131
  • Publication
    Hybrid Event Bed Character Across the Clare Shale - Basal Ross Formation Contact, Western Ireland - New Insight from Behind-Outcrop Cores
    A recent behind - outcrop drilling program targeting the Ross Formation has focussed on the Loop Head peninsula in west Clare. This has provided a fully-cored composite Ross section (490 m thick) that underpins a new understanding of bed-scale variability and the vertical evolution of the system . The work programme h as now been broadened to include the key Ballybunion section on the south side of the Shannon which sits obliquely down-dip (to the east) of Loop Head (c. 18 km away).
      98
  • Publication
    Facies Trends and Large-Scale Architecture of the Pennsylvanian Ross Formation, Western Ireland - New Insight from Cores South of the Shannon
    The Ross Formation is well exposed in sea cliffs facing the Atlantic and Shannon estuary in western Ireland. It forms the sandy deep-water part of a major shallowing-upward Pennsylvanian succession. Over the last four years, a major behind-outcrop drilling program targeting the Ross Formation has focussed primarily on the Loop Head peninsula in west Clare. This has provided a composite Ross cored section (490 m thick) that underpins a new understanding of bed-scale variability and the wider vertical evolution of the system. The focus has now shifted to the key Ballybunion section on the south side of the Shannon, which sits obliquely down-dip (to the east) of the Loop Head area (c. 18 km away). This area is important in that previous outcrop studies have suggested that (1) the character of the lower Ross with its abundant hybrid event beds may reflect a marginal fringe position; (2) an extra sandy section may be present in the uppermost Ross due to offset stacking of the youngest lobes and (3) some of the upper Ross mass transport units may extend across the estuary from Clare. Two new cores are now available ¿behind¿ the Ballybunion cliff section: a 200 m long PQ borehole straddling the lower Ross and the upper part of the underlying Clare Shale (12-KY-UCD-09), and a 151.5 m long slimhole core acquired by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI 09/05). In addition, a re-analysis of the biostratigraphy is underway. Together the matched pair of Kerry boreholes with the outcrop section provide a reference section (480 m thick) that can be compared with the Loop composite section. Both sections have a distinctive precursor cycle involving first stacked thin mudflows and then outsized and coarse grained hybrid event beds. The muddier make-up of the latter at Ballybunion is consistent with a down-dip position based on trends in other basins. The onset of the main Ross system that follows is sandier at Ballybunion than at Loop suggesting the former was more axial at this time. Thereafter hybrid event beds appear not to be as important at Ballybunion. Several of the mass transport units and condensed sections extend across the Shannon and tie the sections.
      84
  • Publication
    Facies Trends and Large-Scale Architecture of the Pennsylvanian Ross Formation, Western Ireland - New Insight from Cores South of the Shannon
    The Ross Formation is well exposed in sea cliffs facing the Atlantic and Shannon estuary in western Ireland. It forms the sandy deep-water part of a major shallowing-upward Pennsylvanian succession. Over the last four years, a major behind-outcrop drilling program targeting the Ross Formation has focused primarily on the Loop Head peninsula in west Clare. This has provided a composite Ross cored section (490 m thick) that underpins a new understanding of bed-scale variability and the wider vertical evolution of the system. The focus has now shifted to the key Ballybunion section on the south side of the Shannon, which sits obliquely down-dip (to the east) of the Loop Head area (c. 18 km away). This area is important in that previous outcrop studies have suggested that (1) the character of the lower Ross with its abundant hybrid event beds may reflect a marginal fringe position; (2) an extra sandy section may be present in the uppermost rRoss due to offset stacking of the youngest lobes and (3) some of the upper Ross mass transport units may extend across the estuary from Clare. Two new cores are now available ¿behind¿ the Ballybunion cliff section: a 200 m long PQ borehole straddling the lower Ross and the upper part of the underlying Clare Shale (12-KY-UCD-09), and a 151.5 m long slimhole core acquired by the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI 09/05). In addition, a re-analysis of the biostratigraphy is underway. Together the matched pair of Kerry boreholes with the outcrop section provide a reference section (480 m thick) that can be compared with the Loop composite section. Both sections have a distinctive precursor cycle involving first stacked thin mudflows and then outsized and coarse grained hybrid event beds. The muddier make-up of the latter at Ballybunion is consistent with a down-dip position based on trends in other basins. The onset of the main Ross system that follows is sandier at Ballybunion than at Loop suggesting the former was more axial at this time. Thereafter hybrid event beds appear not to be as important at Ballybunion. Several of the mass transport units and condensed sections extend across the Shannon and tie the sections.
      93
  • Publication
    Down-Dip Termination of the Carboniferous Ross Fan System in the Inner Shannon Area, Western Ireland - New Insight from Core and Outcrop
    Scattered outcrops and limited borehole data in the inner Shannon estuary and mid-Clare are critical to constrain the down-dip extension of the Ross system. Previous outcrop studies have described a much thinner Ross section at Inishcorker and Foynes (over 50 km east of the Ross type section on the Loop Head) involving only the youngest Ross cycles in the west. A re-interpretation of the inner Shannon outcrops is now possible given a new GSI 09/04 borehole in the Inishcorker area, a re-analysis of Foynes Island sections and new biostratigraphic data
      106