Hibernian Greensands Group

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Hibernian Greensands Group
Stratigraphic range: Cenomanian to Santonian (late Cretaceous)
Type Group
Sub-units Kilcoan Sands Formation, Collinwell Sands Formation, Island Magee Siltstones Formation, Belfast Marls Formation
Underlies Ulster White Limestone Group
Overlies unconformable
Thickness 21-22m
Primary marls
Other siltstones, sandstones
Region Northern Ireland
Country United Kingdom
Extent throughout Northern Ireland

The Hibernian Greensands Group is a late Cretaceous lithostratigraphic group (a sequence of rock strata) in Northern Ireland. The name is derived from the characteristically coloured marls and sandstones which occur beneath the chalk particularly along the Antrim coast. The strata are exposed on or near to both the northern and eastern coasts of Antrim and also between Portrush and Dungiven within County Londonderry. Further outcrops occur between Belfast and Lurgan and between Dungannon and Magherafelt. The current names replace an earlier situation where the present group was considered to be a formation and each of the present formations was considered a 'member'. Several other stratigraphic naming schemes were in use during the nineteenth century and much of the twentieth century. Various units were earlier referred to as glauconitic or chloritic marls.[1] This group and the overlying Ulster White Limestone Group are the stratigraphical equivalent of the Chalk Group of southern and eastern England.


  • Kilcoan Sands Formation
  • Collinwell Sands Formation
  • Island Magee Siltstones Formation
  • Belfast Marls Formation

There are unconformities (non-sequences) above and below the Collinwell Sands Formation.


  1. ^ Hopson, P.M., 2005 A Stratigraphical Framework for the Upper Cretaceous Chalk of England and Scotland with Statements on the Chalk of Northern Ireland and the UK Offshore Sector, British Geological Survey Research Report RR/05/01 (downloaded from www.bgs.ac.uk)