The Namurian rocks of County Clare
My main research area is in County Clare, on the western seaboard of Ireland. I completed a doctoral thesis in 1996, involving an integrated palynofacies, geochemical and maturation study of the Namurian rocks of County Clare. The samples for my thesis were collected on various coastal sections and from two cored boreholes inland. Vitrinite reflectance was used to assess the degree of thermal maturation. Values in the Namurian rocks of County Clare range from between 4.5% to 6.5% Rm. At these high levels of thermal maturation palynofacies investigations become difficult since the organic material is black. Only broad generalisations were possible given the state of preservation. The geochemical study of total organic carbon versus sulphur technique for establishing palaeosalinities was not found to be applicable to the Namurian rocks of County Clare. It is thought that the high levels of maturation and the flow of hot fluids through the rocks removed much of the sulphur. Since 1996 I have continued to research the Namurian rocks of County Clare in conjunction with Prof. Geoff Clayton. Further investigation of vitrinite reflectance levels from boreholes has given an insight into the thermal history of the Clare Basin.
Tertiary igneous intrusions in Carboniferous rocks of County Antrim
I am currently employed as the Senior Experimental Officer of the Geochemistry Unit in the Department, and continue to research the heating effects of a Tertiary igneous intrusion on the organic material and clay minerals contained in cold Mississippian rocks at Ballycastle, County Antrim in conjunction with Dr. David Doff, Prof. Geoff Clayton, Jackie Connolly and Dr. Niall McCormack. We are assessing the effects using vitrinite reflectance, spore colour, spore fluorescence and illite / smectite crystallinity.
Maintained by Geoff Clayton, Last updated: May 28 2012.