Tankardstown engine houses by sunset
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The rocks of the Copper Coast recorded different geological events over 460
millions years.
  • It all started on the ocean floor, near the South Pole, when this part
    of Ireland wasn't a land yet.

  • Magma rose from the depths of the earth to finally pierce the ocean
    floor. A first volcano erupted in the ocean.

  • When it switched off, the sea became quiet again allowing shellfish
    to develop.

  • A second volcano, more explosive than the first one, erupted and
    disturbed the sea.

  • It then switched off and the Copper Coast started to drift northwards,
    towards the Equator.

  • While drifting, the rocks previously formed were uplifted during mountain
    forming processes and then exposed to the surface to desert conditions
    about 360 million years ago.

  • The Copper Coast kept on drifting to reach its actual position.

  • About 2 million years ago, ice sheets and glaciers covered the land
    and while moving slowly, eroded the rocks underneath and shaped
    the landscape.

  • When they melted at the end of the Ice Age, about 12,000 years ago,
    the glaciers dumped their load of boulder rich clays, topping the
    underneath bedrock.

Below is the list of sites accessible along the coast where you can have a look
at the rocks. Sites, except (*), will be equipped with interpretation boards
explaining the geology and/or the mining heritage.

Guided tours are also available for groups.

The birth of a volcano on the ocean floor

Stradbally Cove


The witnesses of the Ice Age

Ballyvooney bridge


Desert and rivers

Ballydwane Bay


Bunmahon - Geological Garden:
The rocks of the Copper Coast

The Geological Garden in Bunmahon


Bunmahon - Stage Cove:
Stage Cove in Bunmahon


Bunmahon - Knockmahon (*):
The Pipes of Baidhb - columns of rhyolite
Knockmahon Strand


Boatstrand - Dunabrattin (*):
Life on the ocean floor
Dunabrattin Head


Kilmurrin (*):
Kilmurrin Cove


Tons of copper
Tankardstown engine houses


A valley carved by the glacier
Anne river valley in Annestown


Dunhill (*):
A castle built on a volcanic plug
Dunhill Castle


A submarine explosive volcano
Kilfarrasy Strand

The Copper Coast Geology Pamphlet

The Copper Coast pamphlet consists of 3 A2 sheets with details of the geological features to be found along the coast from Kilfarrasy to Stradbally, Co. Waterford.

Pamphlet available from Tourist Offices in Dungarvan and Waterford for 4€, or by post from the Geopark Office for 5€ including post and packaging, cheque payable to Copper Coast Geopark.

Contact: 051-292828

Partners of the Copper Coast Geopark