Glacial Geology and Geomorphology
The biogenic records, glacial deposits, and landscapes of Ireland contain a rich record of Quaternary climate change. The records vary from long term glacial cycles to millennial and even centennial time scale variability. These glacial and non-glacial events are driven both by Milankovitch cycles and shorter term climate shifts. Ireland's position on the fringe of Europe in the climatically sensitive north-eastern North Atlantic makes the island an ideal laboratory for identifying terrestrial evidence for climatic signals. Some signals are clearly associated with changes in the heat distributions and fluxes from the ocean and have profound effects on very sensitive ice masses on Ireland. The resulting waxing and waning of the Irish ice sheets has formed diverse glacial topographies, comprising the world's most important field of drumlinized ribbed moraine. Catastrophic ice sheet disintegration has created the sinuous esker ridges and moraines on the lowlands while intensive ice erosion has carved spectacular valleys into the peripheral mountain groups. Author Marshall McCabe provides a current and comprehensive history of the regional geological, geomorphological, and geochronological evidence used in ice sheet reconstruction. Critically, the book documents the dynamic interactions between ice, atmosphere, and sea-levels during the last major glacial cycle. As a detailed study of the Quaternary geology and evidence from a specific locale, the book provides analogous data to be applied in other glacial and post-glacial landscapes around the world. It is also crucial to understanding the relationships between ice, oceans, and atmosphere, as scientists debate the impact of global warming.
Publication Date: 1/1/2008