independent

Sunday 31 August 2014

Pyrite found on Ballymoney shoreline during field trip

Published 12/07/2014 | 12:00

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PYRITE, the rock which has caused so much heartache for the owners of certain homes built using pyrite backfill during the boom, was found on the Ballymoney shoreline during a recent Geology field trip in the area.

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The field trip was one of two educational outings organised recently by Coastwatch. Dr Matthew Parks, head geologist at the Natural History of Ireland, led the geology field trip.

Dr Parks had been asked to help explain the complex rock formations in the area. He told the participants he knew the shore well, having researched it for part of his PhD. 'He brought lots of new insights that will be incorporated into a local geology guide leaflet Coastwatch is preparing,' said Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch. 'Visiting interns from Florida, the UK and Spain were fascinated to learn that rocks just south of the shore entrance had once been rock slurry which picked up black slate bedrock and then solidified.'

Dr Parks was then asked to identify the strange soft black rock which breaks into fine layers with green and yellow dust below the Seafield Golf Course. After examining it, the verdict was that it was pyrite – the material which has been much in the news as destroyer of buildings.

'Just beside that soft black rock, the yellow rock is so full of pyrite that it looks like soft expanding mush face,' said Karin.

She said the geology fieldtrip participants found everything imaginable from beautiful rock outcrops in slates and sandstones, to Courtown limestone.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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