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The Burren: Soils of the Burren

The Burren hills situated in the north-west of the county frequently rise to 1,000 feet (305 m) and consist of almost horizontal strata of bare limestone with some soil in the valleys and dolines. The hillsides are normally steep and frequently show vertical edges of limestone strata with flat areas of limestone pavement between them; at higher elevations these expand into gently steeped plateau-like areas of limestone pavement.

Soils associated with this topographic unit are the Burren Series, Burren Deeper Phase, Kinvara and Kilcolgan Series. The latter two occur on the drumlins in the valleys. Small areas of the Patrickswell, Elton and Baggotstown Series are also found in the valleys.

The Burren lowlands are similar to the Burren hills and are composed of horizontally-bedded bare limestone pavement which lies mostly below 200 feet (61 m).

Fields of the Burren
Fields of the Burren

This region extends east and south of the Burren hills and fades out north of Ennis. In the west the topography is almost similar to the adjoining hill region except for some drumlins scattered over the limestone. Towards the east and south the interdrumlin areas are largely covered with peat and lakes; where the drumlins are in close proximity the limestone pavement may not be exposed. The drumlins frequently increase in numbers towards the east and are all aligned towards the south-west.

From T.F. Finch, 'Soils of County Clare', 1971.

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