Iceland's Black Stacks

Stack with gull on top. Gull atop sea stack Sea stack, rocks and distant cliffs. Stack and coastline with the louring grey skies so common in Iceland Iceland is geologically very young, mostly having emerged from the sea some 17 million years ago. The chief constituent now visible is black volcanic lava that is seen everywhere in the country. This material weathers fast and leads to strange architectural features with the coastline offering many examples of these edifices. The following page shows some of the stacks particularly found along the Snæfellsnes peninsular in the West. These afford perfect nesting places for sea birds who can find firm nooks and supports on which to build. The constant spray in the air renders many images sadly less than sharp. Map of the peninsualar. Like a row of broken teeth the jagged formations are white from gulls Visitors wwalking along cliffs near the lighthouse. A stack attended by many emerging shoals, warning of more submerged Waves hitting stacks. The soft volcanic lava weathers fast; aided here by the force of the waves Gulls on cliffs. The ragged cliff edge, ideal for gulls Strange shapped stacks. Stacks weather into strange shapes Waves breaking on the rocks. The sea seethes at the base of the stacks Low stack with waves. Low stacks like these... Stack and the coastline. ...are common all along... Neat low columnar stack. ...this part of the coastline A stack covered in gulls. A stack with its surface covered by gulls Stacks with spikes. More angular rocks Boats sheltering behind man made extension to a stack. An artificial extension to a stack provides shelter for local fishing boats House near the sea. Humans find homes even in such harsh environments Moss topped stacks. Mosses are the first colonists in Iceland, laying their soft carpet on the sharp lava Side of stack showing the columnar structure. Here the lava can be seen to have cooled into columnar formations Gulls on top of a stack. Two black-backed gulls and a young gull surveying their kingdom Arch with gulls nests. Arches such as these provide perfect nest sites Arch looking through to the sea, diver at right. A diver swims into view through another arch Looking along the coast with an arch in the foreground. Arches, stacks and low cloud - summer in Iceland A circular shaped sea arch. A sea arch in the form of a Hobbit doorway Trailers... Karsts in a valley. The next page has more strange rock formations - the karst landscapes of Cao Bằng in northern Vietnam. Shafts of sunlight in a wood. The next page in the Mosaic Section is entitled:
'The Light Gets In'.
Or go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 30th March 2019 Murphy on duty

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