Exploring Ardalanish

Continuing my visit to the Ross of Mull, todays walk was to Ardalanish - one of my favourite places. First visited here in Nov 1979 as an undergraduate from St Andrews on what was a wet week for field work. I have been back loads of times but what I wanted to do was to check some of the details with a couple of papers. I was interested in looking at the contact of the Moine rocks with the Ross of Mull Granite (ROMG)  - there is a GCR report on this area as well as a very good paper by Zaniewski, Reavy and Harris published in the Scottish Journal of Geology 2006. I had both of those with me for reference. Fun guy to have on a walk eh? :)

Anyway, the weather was great and since a picture tells more than I can,here are some shots of the area:

Still a bit hazy,Ardalanish bay. Moine rocks form the hillocks, Cliffs in the distance are Paleogene basalts near Carsaig Arches

Down on the shore - this is a pic of one of the locations in the Zaniewski paper - Moine rocks on the right, base of the ROMG on left - zone of interaction between the two in the middle

A large xenolith of Moine rock in the ROMG - mentioned in the Zaniewski paper. Lots more of this sort of thing along this coast

Fantastic boulders on the shore. Next to boot - garnet amphibolite - above it to the right a granite cobble. Above it to the left porphyritic microgranodiorite showing large feldpar crystals. And touching it to the left, a bit of Moine psammite

What everyone goes to see! The classic location - rafts of Moine rocks broken off by the granite, the whole thing cut by diorite sheets. Rucksack for scale

Close up of the above pic. Granite intruded into the Moine rocks, the diorite sheet runs diagonally cutting across the whole lot

Nice garnets on some of the Moine pelites nearby. Sun was catching this well showing the texture

 Good pegmatite nearby - very coarse variety of granite - feldspar and mica at the edges, quartz in the middle

Interesting appearance to the granite here - weathering along the joints gives this distinctive look

Also nearby is this obvious cleft - full of boulders. Its a weathered out dyke - the dyke rock is almost completely covered but small bits of it in situ can be found at the waters edge. One of the Permian dykes maybe? A lot of these cut the ROMG

Looking down on the area I had just been exploring. Pity about all the plastic on the beach - there was a lot of it.

The papers refer to "contaminated granite" because of the Moine rocks that have been assimilated by it. Some of it is very white in appearance, not at all like the pink granite. This stuff shows it well

I headed down the coast a bit more - here is the view to Rubh' Ardalanish. Time to head back

There is this weird little hill. It looks like it has been quarried on all sides - it is sheer to overhanging. Actually I reckon this is Mull's most difficult hill. There is no easy way to the top of it as far as I can see.

And finally a much better view of Ardalanish Bay

The light was much better and less hazy later in the day.

So that was that -  a brilliant day out in superb weather. More granite tomorrow!


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