Ulva - Recce Trip

Had a visit to Ulva today. Ulva has been in the news a lot recently because of the Community Buyout. I had been planning to visit it for some time to recce the route for a geology walk and the weather forecast was good for today. The geology of Ulva is really neat, the basalt lava columns on the south side are second only to those on Staffa - its the same rock formation - the "Staffa Lava Formation"

There is also, according to the BGS map some mugearite and ash on the north side near the church but vegetation and poor access makes that a bit of a challenge! Maybe some other day - todays walk was to the famous basalt columns.

Its not too far from the ferry slipway - about 30 - 40 minutes walk but well worth it! Here are the pics with brief descriptions:

The Telford Church on Ulva - the pyramid in the grounds is a war memorial for WW1 - four mens names on it

Tremendous skies looking over towards Mull

Beyond the main outcrop of the basalt columns, a view to the west. A very prominent sill cuts the lavas in the foreground

Another view to the west. Columnar structure is obvious

A cracker of a sill running across the shore and cutting the lavas. Textbook stuff!

Close up view of the sill. Ruler for scale. Chilled margins were obvious but no tachylite which a lot of the sills display. A drusy interior and columnar structure. Columnar structure well seen on the top surface

Razor sharp contact with the underlying amygdaloidal lavas. Lovely!

The sill cuts the lavas higher up in the cliff - still very obvious

This was the furthest out point that I reached - I walked back along the shore to where the main columns are to be found.

This is the same picture as in the Williamson and Bell (2012) paper in the Scottish Journal of Geology Staffa Lava Formation  Sedimentary rocks (conglomerates and sandstones plus breccias) between lava flows

And a close up shot of the sedimentary layers

Moving onto the main columns, this is classic stuff. I am just going to let the pictures do the talking:

Finally, a last shot of the day, looking over a small bay towards Mull:

So that was that - back to the Boathouse Cafe for coffee and cake (I thoroughly recommend it by the way!) and a meet up with some old friends including our local MP! An excellent day!


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