The rocks and landscape of the Joyce Country & Western Lakes geopark region tell a story that spans 700 million years. They tell the story of a continent that started in the Southern Hemisphere and split apart, of an ocean that opened and closed again, of land that was submerged beneath warm tropical waters, of a continent in the Northern Hemisphere that split apart to form a new ocean, of periods of landscape-forming glaciations and finally of human interaction with the land. This entire fantastic story can be told here, in the Joyce Country & Western Lakes geopark.
UNESCO Global Geoparks have geology of international importance. In the Joyce Country & Western Lakes geopark region, we have what is arguably the best international example of the complete Grampian-Taconic Orogeny. This was a mountain building event, and evidence for this can be seen in Ireland, in Scotland and from the Appalachian Mountains through to Greenland. This translates to a great geodiversity of rock types, fossils and landscape features to explore.
Our geological story can be as plain or as complex as you want, but to understand it, there are a few basic ideas and facts that are useful to know. You can skip ahead to the story or read through our geology 101 section first.