Original Articles

Environmental Geology

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 110-112

First online:

Source of the River Shannon, Ireland

  • J. GunnAffiliated withLimestone Research Group, Department of Geographical & Environmental Sciences, The University of Huddersfield

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The Shannon is the longest river in the British Isles (280 km) and drains an area of about 15,530 km2. The source of the river is Shannon Pot, a karst rising in County Cavan, which is one of the most famous springs in Ireland. Water tracer experiments have shown that the rising drains an immediate area of about 12.8 km2 on the slopes of Cuilcagh Mountain, of which about 60% is underlain by limestone. However, two sinks 10–11 km east of the rising and ca. 200 m higher have also been shown to be hydrologically connected during high flow conditions. This suggests that Shannon Pot may once have had a substantially larger catchment area.

Key words

River Shannon Hydrology Ireland