Geology of the Copper Coast

A landscape formed by fire and ice

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.

For more information the Geology of the Copper Coast Geopark please visit our visitor center or contact

About Copper Coast Geopark

The Copper Coast Geopark is in Co. Waterford, Ireland and is an outdoor museum of geological records; it stretches along the coast from Kilfarassy Beach, near Fenor in the east to Ballyvoile Beach near Stradbally to the west. Volcanoes, oceans, deserts and ice sheets all combined to create the rocks which provide the physical foundation of the natural and cultural landscapes of the area. Follow the self-guided "Copper Coast" trail and walking cards available from the The Copper Coast Geopark Centre in Bunmahon.

Please respect our Geology and Nature; leave them with us, take just memories away.

Contact Information

Copper Coast Geopark Ltd.
Co. Waterford,
X42 T923

Phone: +353(0)51292828


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