Knight, J., Burningham, H., 2014. A paraglacial coastal gravel structure: Connell's Bank, NW Ireland. In: Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds.), Proceedings 13th International Coastal Symposium (Durban, South Africa), Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 70, pp. 121–126, ISSN 0749-0208.
Coastal gravel structures have been well documented worldwide and are formed dominantly by onshore wave transport of gravel, mainly during storm events. They are commonly observed along paraglacial coastlines where their origins are more ambiguous because of the effects of antecedent patterns of sediment supply, glacioisostatic sea-level change, and contemporary coastal processes. This paper describes the properties and polygenic origin of Connell's Bank, a small paraglacial gravel structure on the Atlantic-facing coast of NW Ireland. This feature has been shown on historical maps, air photos and satellite imagery since ca. 1850 but its outline has varied depending on seasonal migration, expansion and contraction of a sand veneer. It has also acted as a major control on tidal channel position within the estuary, and thus on sensitivity of the estuary system to ocean forcing. In detail, the bank surface is composed of cobbles sourced from outside of the immediate catchment. These surface cobbles are strongly winnowed, forming a lag deposit, whereas below the surface, cobbles exist within a granule and shell matrix. A significant proportion of surface cobbles show evidence for recent ventifaction by blown sand at low tide. The paraglacial evolution of Connell's Bank since the last glaciation comprises the following stages: (1) deposition of coarse glacigenic sediment as a moraine or proximal outwash fan during the late Pleistocene lowstand; (2) reworking of sediments onshore during early Holocene sea-level rise; (3) surface winnowing during mid to late Holocene tides and storms; and (4) surface cobble modification by contemporary wind abrasion.