Mewlaghmore Dolines

Useful Information

Location: East of Castlerea.
From Castlerea R377, the straigh on L1618, follow left turn, at right turn straight ahead. The first group is 650 m after the turnoff to Rathra on the left, the second after 1.3 km on the right.
(53.760257, -8.397856)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstDoline KarstPonor
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Bibliography: Matthew Parkes, Robert Meehan, Sophie Préteseille (2012): The Geological Heritage of Roscommon. An audit of County Geological Sites in Roscommon. Geological Survey of Ireland. Unpublished Report. online pdf
Caoimhe Hickey (2010): The Use of Multiple Techniques for Conceptualisation of Lowland Karst, a case study from County Roscommon, Ireland, June 2010, Acta Carsologica / Karsoslovni Zbornik 39(2):331-346 DOI:10.3986/ac.v39i2.103. researchgate
Sarah Gatley, Matthew A. Parkes (2016): Earth science conservation in Ireland—a reappraisal, Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 34 (2016), pp. 79-89 (11 pages), Published By: Royal Irish Academy. DOI:10.3318/ijes.2016.34.79 jstor
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Mewlaghmore Dolines are an excellent example of a high density of karst features, mostly dolines, along a dry valley. The valley is very shallow and hard to see, but the huge number of dolines are obvious. There are different types and forms including shallow, gentle-sided depressions to large, deep collapse dolines with vertical sides. Some are waterfilled, forming circular lakes, others are swallow holes where the water sinks continually. As the collapses follow a general line running northwest to southeast, so there is a high probability that there is a cave passage below which has collapsed at multiple points. The Lower Carboniferous limestone in the underground is karstified since the late Quaternary.