Turloughs, an Irish phenomenon





The Carran Turlough

Environmental gradients

Turlough Flora

Multivariate Analysis



Turloughs & Burren
Multivariate Analysis
Carran Turlough margin with Phragmites australis and Carex rostrata

Turloughs are seasonally dry lakes. They occur over the glacially modified carboniferous age limestones of central and western Ireland. They fill and drain with water, through a series of sink holes and fissures in the turlough floor, often with filling extreme rapidity. Whilst turlough margin vegetation shows a distinct zonation from wet to dry, turlough margins are characterised by their rapidly fluctuating water levels.

Turloughs are formed in bedrock hollows, although they may be floored with glacial deposits. Glacial deposition is a major controlling factor on the extent and shape of turloughs. Turloughs are a glacio-karstic feature of a hydrologically complex, largely depositional, landscape.

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Three theories for the origins of turloughs have been proposed, (from Coxon, 1986) ;

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Darrel Watts

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