The Blue Book Project

The past half-century of mineral exploration and research activity in Ireland has generated a considerable amount of lithostratigraphic data. Philcox (1984) produced an extremely valuable compilation of this work in an Irish Association for Economic Geology (IAEG) publication titled “Lower Carboniferous Stratigraphy of the Irish Midlands”. Colloquially known within the industry as ‘The Blue Book’, it focused on the Tournaisian of the Irish Midlands, which proved influential amongst exploration geologists. In the intervening 30+ years, an updated synthesis of this work, incorporating more recent discoveries, has not, however, been produced. 
 
Since 1984, exploration of Carboniferous strata has expanded both regionally and at depth, placing greater demands on our understanding of the Mississippian lithostratigraphy of Ireland. The proposed project will produce a revised dynamic stratigraphy of the Tournaisian and Viséan, with a comprehensive account of the lithostratigraphy linked to the considerable quantity of unpublished data collected in the last 3 decades. 
 
The final product, with a working title of “The New Blue Book” would not be possible without funding from GSI and iCRAG UCD. It will be made publically available as a GSI publication via a series of online chapters on distinctive geological provinces, combining detailed lithological descriptions, colour photographs with hyperspectral scanning data and correlative sections of lithofacies.   
 
We are fortunate to have Michael Philcox working with us as scientific lead and Robert Doyle robert.doyle@icrag-centre.org as Project Manager. They will be working in close collaboration with UCD/iCRAG researchers, along with individuals in the GSI and mineral exploration companies. The Blue Book Project is set to run until end Dec 2020.

An introduction, project aims and progress to date on The Blue Book Project can be found here.