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The Burren

A cache by green-island Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/26/2007
Difficulty:
2 out of 5
Terrain:
2 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

The Burren - a unique karst-landscape.

The region measures aprx. 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle comprised by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Kilnaboy, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna, It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north respectively. Burren is also rich with historical and archeological sites. There are also many megalithic tombs in the area and portal dolmens

The rolling hills of Burren are composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as "grikes", leaving isolated rocks called "clints". The region supports Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine plants side-by-side, due to the unusual environment.

The word "Burren" is a corruption of an Irish word, boireann, meaning a stony place.

This particular part of northern County Clare is distinctive because of the character of its stoniness: an upland region of exposed carboniferous limestone. Such landscapes are known to geologists as "karstic" or "karst", a Germanic term originating from Karst a limestone plateau near Trieste, in northern Italy., The hills in this area display the full range of landforms characteristic of a karstic landscape: flat blue-white sedimentary rock layered in horizontal beds; expanses of limestone pavements and platueaus; dramatic hillsides moulded by glacial activity into stepped terraces; and a whole world of micro-erosion features collectively called "karren".

Limestone is a porous rock susceptible to erosion by water. Once exposed to the air, the limestone pavements are etched by the weather into a distinctive series of solutional features or karren - clints, grykes, rills, runnels. These quickly convey all surface-water to underground streams (caves); hence the absence of rivers or marshes. Geologists and palaeo-botanists think that the Burren was mantled in a thin mineral soil supporting a light forest canopy c.6,000 years ago. With the arrival of agriculturalists, the process of clearing the forest for grazing land began. Over the succeeding millennia much of the thin soil cover has been gradually washed down into the grykes in the limestone. Ironically, the widespread grazing of farm animals helps keep the pavements bare of soil!

Due to the porous nature of limestone most of the rain and surface water drains down through the crevices in the rock until it meets some impervious layer, usually a lense of shale. It then begins to flow horizontally. In the process, the water further erodes the rock carving out smooth walled passages, channels and even large chambers. The Burren caves come in two categories, and dry and active, i.e. still occupied by streams. Over 300 miles of caves have been mapped in to Burren to date making it a mecca for Speleologists or pot-holers.

Find the part of Burren where you can see the megalithic tombs of Poulnabrone Dolmen in the unique karst-landscape. Its nice to take a picture (you and the megalithic tombs and of course the karst landscape there) Photo is not obligation But it should be a matter of honor for Earth Caches

Please mail me the coordinates of Poulnabrone in Burren and answer follow questions:

1. Estimate the width of the opening in the dolmen

2. Of which minerals does limestone consist?

3. Call 3 other special karst landscapes in the world.

Please, don’t log the coordinates and the answers!

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