Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ben More sunset

From the shores of the island of Ulva, the setting sun casts a red glow on the now cold basalt rocks of Ben More on Mull. Once it spouted red molten magma from deep within the Earth and was the largest volcano in Europe. Today its lava fields cover 840 square kilometres and are up to 1.8 kilometres thick. The islands round Loch na Keal bear testament to this fiery past and are an irresistable magnet to any sea kayaker.


  1. Douglas, that is gorgeous. Well observed indeed.

  2. Douglas,

    Excellent photo as usual. Just a pedantic geological point; the Mull lava field has an estimated total thickness of 1800 m according to Emeleus & Bell (2005). There are 900 m of basalts in the central complex alone!

    Yours in Geo-nerdiness,


  3. Thanks Simon, Clark your geological expertise is appreciated as always. Paddling round this amazing coastline and seeing the bare bones of the Earth made me wish I knew more about geology. Watch out for the Carsaig arches! I saw alternate layers of volcanic ash that I could pick with my fingers ans basalt. Some of the basalt was only a cm thick and other layers were 25m thick and had cooled to form columns. Also Clark, keep an eye open for Ross of Mull photos to come, I am, sure you will appreciate seeing it in sunshine after our trip last October!