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Short easy stroll to the view down into the cove. A steeper sandy descent when you drop down into the cove itself.
Dinosaur footprints nearby.
Cove Bay (see photo) is a geological remnant from many millions of years ago. At this time, Scotland was much nearer the equator than it is today. Continental drift since then has moved Scotland nearer to the north pole and the climatic conditions are much different! In those days, the landscape was completely different – very desert like with sand dunes and a hot dry climate. This barren landscape was populated by small reptiles which later became much larger dinosaurs. At the top of the cove are a number of sandstone slabs which show dinosaur footprints and “tail drags”. These are grooves left in the sand by the animals’ tail being dragged along behind it. Strong winds blew across these Saharan type desert dunes, ever changing the pattern of the land by moving the sand from one place to another. By looking at the exposed layers of the sandy cliff above the Cove, you can actually see these different layers of sand that have been preserved. These layers are known as “cross bedding”. Look for the obvious criss – cross pattern at the right hand side of the cliff. Different layers of softer sand are also visible in the central cliff section.
At the bottom of the left handside of the cliff is a cave - (Coords N57 40.774 W003 24.709) which goes right through the cliff and down to the sea. This cave is in a different part of the sandy rock which has been violently moved during a major earth upheaval. This is called a “faultline” and shows where two rock faces have moved against each other. The two rock surfaces are actually now at right angles to each other as a result of this violent movement.
Another feature of this area is that the bay, along with the surrounding area, was completely covered by ice during the last ice age. This ended about 10,000 years ago. It is estimated that the ice thickness may have been up to 700m thick. This squashed the underlying earth surface down. Even now, the earth surface is “rebounding” or springing back up now that the downward pressure from the ice has gone. This is a very slow process so don’t expect to see it happening before your eyes!
Parking is available at the top of a rough track running north from the Hopeman - Lossiemouth road (B9040) opposite the Duffus junction (B9012). This is also the access road to a working sandstone quarry, so care must be taken during working hours not to block the access. Take note of the warning signs. At weekends and evenings, parking is easier and makes for a popular spot for visitors. Whilst you are here, look at "Callum's Cave Conundrum" GCNKR2 for a nearby "real" cache and further local information.
Edit :Since this Earthcache was published, there is also a cache at the dinosaur footprints)
IMPORTANT.....To claim the cache, you MUST carry out two tasks.
1) The Educational bit...
a) Go down into the cove and visit the cave.
b) Walk through the cave and estimate these two things:
i) The maximum height of the cave
ii)The length of the cave from the inland side through to the sea side.
c) Email me this info (DO NOT POST IN YOUR LOG!!)
You then have permission to log this earthcache.
2) Post a photo of yourself (optional) and GPS (mandatory) clearly in view with the feature (the cove) in the frame.
If I do not receive the scientific answers and/or a photo is not posted, you may have your log deleted..... Educational guidelines for Earthcaches are set by Geocaching.com and GeoSociety.org (Earthcache) and have to be adhered to. Please note: I no longer cache actively, but have kept these caches (Earth and Virtuals) for the enjoyment of those who do. I may not reply, therefore, to your email. If you are really looking for a reply, please don't log this cache.
(No hints available.)