Geograph Blog ::

Isle of Arran

By Ashley Dace

As part of my degree course I had an introductory mapping field course on the Isle of Arran, Scotland. This is to prepare for a mapping project in June this year, I'm planning for 2 weeks on Rum to map the layered intrusion. This was my third visit to Arran, the first being in 2003 and second in 2009. I had to make my own way there, so like before went via the East Coast mainline. An early train from Leicester took me to Peterborough so I could catch the 7.51am Kings Cross to Glasgow. A friend joined me at York and we enjoyed the journey north through the northern towns and cities as well as the beautiful countryside.
We arrived at Glasgow near 1pm, decided to stay in Glasgow instead of Ardrossan ferry terminal for 4 hours while we waited for the ferry. A stroll around Glasgow was more inviting, couldn't do much due to luggage but got a reasonable look at the city centre.
The station bar provided a nice place to have a drink while waiting for another friend, when he arrived the group caught the train to Ardrossan harbour. This train was timed to meet up with the 6pm ferry. Due to this being the last of the day it was quite busy, there was also the Cambridge university earth science group. Quite a rough 55 minute crossing, thankfully I don't get sea sick. On arrival at Ardrossan mini-buses took us to the Kinloch hotel pin Blackwaterfoot.
Day 1 was spent at Corrie on the eastern coast, this area was to be our first introduction to mapping. The coastline is a mix of permian desert sandstones, carboniferous delta deposits and basalt lava fields. After a brief period at Corrie it was decided to head north to Lochranza. This is a very pretty area and where I stayed last time. After parking the group walked up to Hutton's Unconformity, this was my first visit to this historic site.
NR9352 : Hutton's Unconformity by Ashley DaceNR9352 : Raised Beach by Ashley DaceNS0243 : Corrie Sandstone by Ashley Dace NS0243 : Corrie Fulgurite by Ashley DaceNR8928 : Blackwaterfoot - Kinloch Hotel by Ashley Dace

Sunday was spent surveying the coast at Sannox, this would be my assessed mapping site. Stretching from the beach to the barytes mines up in south Glen Sannox. It was quite 'busy' a series of Devonian conglomerates and sandstones along with dykes. Plus major faulting in several locations.
A simple exercise near the mines took just under an hour, found an early mine adit.

NS0146 : Beach at Sannox by Ashley Dace NS0045 : Sannox Barytes Mine by Ashley DaceNS0045 : Mine Shaft in Glen Sannox by Ashley DaceNS0045 : Glacial Erratics by Ashley Dace NS0045 : Granite Mountains by Ashley Dace NS0045 : Mine Shaft by Ashley DaceNS0243 : Corrie Beach by Ashley Dace
The afternoon saw some descriptions of the sediments again in the Corrie mapping area. . Sadly the next 3 days were practically solid rain, my 20th birthday consisted of me writing in a soggy notebook all day. Hopefully it doesn't rain when I have to be in north Wales next year during my 21st.
The 6th April was wet for the morning, the Dalradian Phylites were observed before a return to Sannox for more mapping work.
NR8847 : Deformed Rocks by Ashley DaceNS0145 : Sannox Beach by Ashley Dace NS0146 : Dolerite Dyke by Ashley Dace
Next morning which was a Thursday saw a shopping stop at Brodick before heading back to Sannox, this time heading up the glen. More sandstones and conglomerates as well as glacial till being observed. Also of interest was a hidden waterwheel and mining buildings.
NS0045 : Waterfall in Sannox Burn by Ashley DaceNS0045 : Waterwheel Remains by Ashley Dace NS0045 : Mining Remains by Ashley Dace NS0045 : Sannox Barytes  Mine by Ashley DaceNS0145 : Sannox Bay by Ashley Dace
The afternoon turned out to be great, the Costa del Sannox .
Friday saw another good forecast, although it was cloudy at first. The group walked along the beach from the hotel to Drumadoon sill (large QFP igneous intrusion). February 2009 was my last visit here, the area being my mapping area for A level. A walk along the raised beach brought us to Kings Cave, I pointed out all the carvings as I was the only one who knew the locations (apart from the Viking sword which was painted in). Not far from the cave was An Cumhann, this dyke was one I did in detail during 2009.

NR8830 : Kings Cave by Ashley DaceNR8830 : Man in Kings Cave by Ashley DaceNR8830 : Viking Sword by Ashley DaceNR8830 : An Cumhann by Ashley DaceNR8831 : Dyke at An Cumhann by Ashley Dace NR8830 : Looking to Drumadoon by Ashley DaceNR8830 : Isochirotherium Footprint by Ashley Dace.
During the walk back a stop off at the reptile footprint was in order .
The last couple of days saw us being dropped off at Sannox for more mapping, this time without any help. First sandstones in North Glen Sannox were explored before marker beds further inland were traced. Once done on the beach a quick explore of the mines was done on the Sunday morning. Plenty of open shafts and even a dismantled railway, a brilliant geology/industrial rich site. Finally after a last meal at the hotel and an early night the alarm was set for the early morning ferry. A longer journey on the way back as usual, slept for most of it though!
Now back at Leicester for a week, get an essay out of the way before some geographing by the end of the week. The rest of April will be at home.

Sat, 16 Apr 2011 at 21:38
Chosen Photo
NS0145 : Sannox Bay by Ashley Dace
Sannox Bay by Ashley Dace for square NS0145

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