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Achill Island EarthCache

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1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Achill Island

The Geology

Achill Island is built almost entirely of highly folded and faulted Dalradian schists and quartzites. Where quartzites occur, the terrain is usually mountainous. The westernmost extremely of Achill is formed from a steeply dipping layer of schist creating a knife-edged pinnacle ridge, called Achill Head, which juts far out into the Atlantic. Where geochemical activity has affected the mineral content of the rocks during metamorphism, small pockets of amethysts have been formed near the junction of the schists and the quartzites of Keem Bay. In the mid-60’s, when the road to Keem was being constructed, a large vein of amethyst was discovered. Very tiny fragments can still be found by patient searching. These fragments can be more easily seen after rainfall. Here, where a limestone and conglomerate rock mark the transition from the Achill Head Schists to the Croaghaun – Slievemore quartzites, this sandy bay has been eroded into the steep coastal cliffs. The presence of quartzite hare has contributed to the beach formation. Weathering has broken down the quartzite rocks to form a fine, straw-coloured sand.

The Cache

Please answer the following questions in order to receive a log permission:

1.) How many freshwater streams are crossing the beach from the mountains to the Atlantic?

2.) Email me the names of the different terns species living here.

3.) Two high elevation peaks of Achill Island survived the last glaciation of Ireland. What are the names of these nunataks?

4.) Take an optional photo of Keem Beach. Maybe you found some fragments of Amethyst, then please upload a picture to your log.

Logs without sending the answers to my email account will be deleted! Don't use the message-center! I don't read it. After sending the answer feel free to log your found.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)