Palaeohydrological Reconstructions from the Lough Neagh Floodplains, Northern Ireland: Evidence from Peat Stratigraphy, Pollen and Fossil Beetle Records

Gill Plunkett, Nicki J. Whitehouse, Valerie Hall, Warren Baillie

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Lough Neagh is the largest lake in Ireland and Britain, with a surface area of 383 km2 and a catchment of 4,453 km2. Its sole outlet is at Toome, via the Lower River Bann, where substantial diatomite deposits signify the existence of higher lake-levels during the Holocene. Research in the early 20th century suggested that diatomite began to accumulate since the end of the Boreal period (~6000 cal. BC) but the precise chronology is poorly established. The construction of a new road at Toome provided access to previously unstudied floodplain sequences in the area. Borehole logs recorded along the length of the proposed road reveal what appear to be deep palaeochannels infilled with peat. Here we present the results of a multi-proxy (stratigraphy, palynology, Coleoptera) investigation of these peats, with chronological control provided by tephra and radiocarbon dating. We find that the highly complex stratigraphy of the area is the result of several periods of hydrological change in the fluvio-lacustrine system through the Holocene. The biotic data reveal a diverse floodplain environment no longer evident in the area.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventIrish Quaternary Association Annual Symposium - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 04 Mar 2006 → …

Conference

ConferenceIrish Quaternary Association Annual Symposium
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBelfast
Period04/03/2006 → …

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    Plunkett, G., Whitehouse, N. J., Hall, V., & Baillie, W. (2006). Palaeohydrological Reconstructions from the Lough Neagh Floodplains, Northern Ireland: Evidence from Peat Stratigraphy, Pollen and Fossil Beetle Records. Paper presented at Irish Quaternary Association Annual Symposium, Belfast, United Kingdom.