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Review the published geologic literature of the Ross of Mull (including the Islands of Iona and Staffa) Essay Example

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Review the published geologic literature of the Ross of Mull (including the Islands of Iona and Staffa)

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The island has the formation of a cliff on its southern side as seen from the Ross of Mull. The cliff walls are made from fine tertiary basalt; however, underneath the basalt columned edges are basements of tuff, formed by pure volcanic ashes. However, these are not the main point of attractions of the island. The island is most famous for its caves, located on its far-east and west coast. The most famous of these caves, is Fingal’s Cave located on the western coastal region of the island (Pickard 124).The cave has an arch like entrance and has been formed by continuous erosion of the sea water. The cave has one entrance which tourists enter through a boat. The inside walls of the cave are majestic. They have been formed by fine basal columns, and due to the crystalline structure of magma, the columns are in perfect hexagonal shape. These columns form the entire walls of the cave. The formation occurred due to the separate cooling of the inner and outer layers of lava which resulted in tetragonal crystalline structuring of the magma (Harker 53).The cave has an entrance through sea, which has been formed by the continuous erosion of the cave from the water. The cave also has significance in literature, as Mendelsohn was inspired for his Hebrides Overture by visiting the cave way back in 1832. It has also been visited by many prominent figures such as, Jules Verne, J. Turner and even Queen Victoria.When looked at inside the inner formation of the Staffa, magma layers that have piled up for millions of years have taken the shape of layers. These layers contain mainly sedimentary rocks, folded in the Triassic, Jurassic and the Cretaceous period. These layers, that were once magma, have taken millions of years to form and cool down (Brook and Hinchliffe 44).After learning about such complicated geography of this small island, one might ask a question on how it was formed. The formation of this small piece of land dates back almost 60 million years, when Greenland, Europe and England were part of the same land mass. Due to constant movement of the Earth’s crust and the presence of the fault line in the region, Greenland eventually split away from England and Europe into a separate landmass.This caused deep ruptures in the Earth’s crust as well, seeping down into the mantle which contains magma. Magma then seeped out to the surface to form magma plumes, which eventually took the shape of land after millions

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Works Cited

Bird, Eric. Encyclopedia of the Worlds Coastal Landforms. UK: Springer, 2010. Print.

Brook, Denis and Phil Hinchliffe. Scotlands Far West: Walks on Mull and Ardnamurchan. UK: Cicerone Press Limited, 2012. Print.

Harker, Alfred. The West Highlands and the Hebrides: A Geologists Guide for Amateurs. UK: CUP Archive, 1941. Print.

MacArthur, Mairi. Columbas Island: Iona from Past to Present. London: Edinburgh University Press, 2008. Print.

MacGregor, Malcolm. Mull, Iona and Staffa. NJ: Frances Lincoln ltd, 2011. Print.

Marsh, Terry. The Isle of Mull. London: Cicerone Press Limited, 2011. Print.

Pickard, Jan S. Out of Iona. Scotland: Wild Goose Publications, 2001. Print.

Porter, Darwin and Danforth Prince. Frommers Scotland. NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2009. Print.

Wilson, John E. The Gazetteer of Scotland. Scotland: Heritage Books, 1882. Print.

Wilson, Neil and Alan Murphy. Scotland. Scotland: Lonely Planet, 2008. Print.

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