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International Geodiversity Day 2022: Launch of 17 local geological maps


JCWL geopark website


6th October: International Geodiversity Day


JCWL Staff

Lá Idirnaisiúnta um Geo-Éagsúlacht / International Geodiversity day 2022

Today marks the first ever International Geodiversity Day as proclaimed by the UNESCO at its 41st General Conference in 2021. Geodiversity represents the variety of our mineral environment, i.e. all the parts of nature that aren’t alive. Geodiversity is the driver of biodiversity and also impacts many areas of society. These links are celebrated by UNESCO Global Geoparks throughout the world and particularly today.


We are very lucky in the Joyce Country and Western Lakes Geopark region to have such a rich geodiversity. The mountains and lakes of Joyce Country displaying a very rich variety of rocks (most rocks you would have heard about are there, including Connemara Marble) and telling a story over 700 million years old (see Finny or Gleann Eidhneach for example). The limestone areas to the east of Loughs Mask and Corrib are fine representation of the karst landscape and features found in Ireland including one of the fastest flowing spring complexes in the World in CONGA. And all the marks left by the growth, movement and melting of the glaciers and Ice Sheets of the Ice Ages of the Quaternary period (see Fiord an Chaoláire Rua or NA DEIRCEANNA for example).

Geodiversity in the region:
 To celebrate the first ever International Geodiversity Day, we are officially launching a set of 17 local geological maps of the main geosites and all the communities of the geopark. These maps were build in the last 18 months using the highest resolution geological mapping of bedrock, karst and quaternary features available from Geological Survey Ireland. All available place names were added to the maps and further place names can be added in the future when new records are finalised. Additionally, the main archaeological sites and walking infrastructures are also indicated if allowed for clarity.
These maps are all below and also visible on each individual pages for our geosites and our towns and villages. They are at different scales depending on the main site/area to display. They were designed for an A3 layout and so should not be printed on smaller paper.  You can see them below and click on them for larger sizes. Enjoy…