September 2022. How well the sun shone in that remote corner of Ireland called Barley Cove! A short report on the two guided walks follows. Watch this space for further events.

Photo: Anthony Beese

11 September 2021. IRISH EXAMINER: Barleycove dunes formed ‘overnight’ thanks to Portuguese earthquake by Pádraig Hoare. A description of the tsunamigenic sand interpreted at Barely Cove earlier this year, based on both its sedimentology and ‘1755 Lisbon’ heritage – potentially, a site of international significance. https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/munster/arid-40695359.html. For an academic description see Anthony Beese in the Irish Quaternary Newsletter, No. 66, pages 5 to 7, due to be posted soon at http://iqua.ie/publications/newsletters/. And mention of the editor’s upcoming book on the impact of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake on Ireland.

See also article by Jackie Keogh in The Southern Star. https://www.southernstar.ie/news/barleycoves-dunes-caused-by-tsunami-4230852

  • 26 March 2021. VIDEO LECTURE: Cork’s Underlying Problem. Cork’s history of flooding is discussed in a new presentation, which can be found at https://www.leeforum.org/video-lectures. Three types of flooding impact the city centre. They are tidal surges, river floods and groundwater flooding. As might be expected, given Cork’s status as an historic urban city built on an estuary, there are numerous flood risks that cannot be modelled. In particular, the risk from groundwater flooding is poorly understood (see drawing). The talk presents new evidence for perched water within the man-made filling. It seems that local aquifers are being fed by a number of sources including tidal flows, leaking water mains, and so on. Astonishingly, the tide has flowed over the estuarine mud since the medieval period and continues to appear in the city streets during flood events 800 years later! Moreover, there are also several major canals, now culverted, that also date back to the medieval period. Yes, its complicated!
A look at some of the flood risks at Cork (Anthony Beese)

March 2019. REPORT: Ground and groundwater conditions at Cork... The former landscapes of the city are presented in this report. The research is based on historical maps, archaeological records and engineering boreholes: https://www.leeforum.org/post/ground-groundwater-conditions-at-cork-and-implications-for-the-lower-lee-flood-relief-scheme-opw The review, which includes several new plans, indicates that there are many factors that impact flooding of the city centre, and that these factors make the implementation and operation of direct defences problematic (parapet walls, cut-off measures and pumping stations). Therefore, in the opinion of the author, the current OPW proposal is over-engineered and represents an experiment that is likely to fail. Reference to the report should be made as: Ground and groundwater conditions at Cork: Implications for the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme. Anthony Beese. Special Report No. 713/5D for Save Cork City. March 2019.


Anthony Beese is a consultant geologist with Carraigex Geoservices.  His articles are based on geology, geography, landscape archaeology and the historical environment .

Initial funding for the development of this website was provided by Cork Historical & Archaeological Society.

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