Abstract: During the Triassic period (252–201 Ma), Ireland lay ~20° north of the equator in the arid to semi-arid interior of the Pangea Supercontinent. Desert conditions, dominated by wind-blown sand systems, were punctuated by seasonal precipitation which drove large-scale, ephemeral, fluvial systems from mountainous hinterlands into parched basin interiors. The deposited sandstones now form an important resource – they are reservoirs for hydrocarbons, aquifers for groundwater, potential sources of geothermal heating, and sites for carbon sequestration. This talk aims to show how provenance techniques, based on signals in individual sand grains, have led to new models for Triassic palaeogeography. These reconstructions shed new light on this part of Irish geological history, while also providing insight into how climate, topography, and geography have combined to produce a regionally significant, and economically important, sandstone.
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