Saturday, 25 May 2013

Staffa

 After several years of living not too far from Staffa I finally made it to the island. Previous visits having been thwarted by the weather, or lack of proper planning on my part. I must say it was worth the wait. Pictures do not do justice to the atmosphere of the place, and the allotted hour ashore was much too short. Below are some zoomable images, click on the  icon, bottom left of the picture to get a larger view which you can zoom in and drag.

This is the well known view of the entrance to Fingals Cave. The columns are larger than I expected, and a matt intense black, not quite the usual basalt black, and contain a few zeolites. Access to the inside of the cave is along the right wall.

Just before landing from the boat you pass a remarkable set of columns, known as Am Buachaille, or the herdsman. Aligned from vertical to horizontal with a groove in the centre, it challenges interpretation using the usual thermal gradients etc. The clear water shows a deep channel of water between, possibly a collapsed cave at one time?


Finally a view from the top of the island looking north. The headland shows two layers of basalt columns with a more normal flow between, the whole emplaced on a bed of volcanic ash.

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