Geology Walk: ULVA


Basalt Columsn on the south side of Ulva


Ulva is a volcanic island and is probably the second best place in these islands to see Columnar Basalt rock formations. (The best being Staffa of course!)


On this trip we will look at these amazing rocks and see how they have formed and what they tell us about the pre-existing landscape before the lava flows erupted 60 million years ago.

We will be referring to some very recent research that has been carried out in the area and will look at the processes responsible for shaping this very distinctive landscape.


In addition to the columnar basalt we will also look at dykes and sills in the area of which there are some text-book examples. If you dont know what a dyke or sill is, you will find out!


More recent geology is also covered and we will visit Livingstone's Cave, the highest sea cave in Britain.


All the geology will be explained in the wider context of the West Coast and the North Atlantic and the events which were responsible for making this place and other Scottish Islands so volcanically active at the time.

There will also be opportunities to find out about how geological field work and mapping is actually done and what data needs to be recorded.

After we return from Ulva, there will be an opportunity, to have a look at some rocks in the Ulva Ferry area near to the waterfall of Eas Fors.

Easy walking along a track, muddy in places. some scrambling on the rocky shore. Note: rocks may be slippery.



You will see:-


Basalt Lava flows
Fantastic columns
Sedimentary layers between the lava flows
Glassy margins
Weathered lava tops (red bole)
Volcanic ash
Amygdales, minerals, veins
Caves, arches, sea stacks
Great examples of faulting
A connection with the planet Mars!
Trap featuring in the lavas

Plus lots more!  All technical terms will be carefully and gently explained. No previosu knowledge is neccessary. If anyone has any questions before during or after the walk, please feel free to hit me with them!




Livingstone's Cave, Ulva



Location on the map:-






Geology of Mull and Iona - Further Information


 There is a phenomenal amount of interesting geology to be seen and experienced in these islands. For more information on it, please have a look at my other site "Geology of Mull & Iona" which hopefully will provide you with detailed up to date information as well as pictures and other resources