15 August 2016

The Paps of Jura, with a nice example of orographic effect (plus a seal)

Posted by Callan

The isle of Jura in Scotland is where George Orwell wrote 1984. It’s just across a narrow channel from the eastern side of Islay, where I spent four lovely days geologizing this summer. Looking across the gap, you can see a cluster of prominent mountains on Jura. These are the “Paps” of Jura, and they are held up by quartzite. I took these photos when driving home after an afternoon of examining stromatolite-bearing Neoproterozoic rocks south of Bunnahabhain.

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I was struck by the clouds sitting over these landforms:

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Though I’m no meteorologist, that appears to me to be a nice example of orographic lifting – where air is forced up and over an obstacle, such as this Pap, and as it gets to higher altitude, the moisture in it condenses to form a cloud. As the air sinks again on the opposite side, the little droplets re-evaporate, and the cloud disappears…

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The more I learn about meteorology, the more I want to learn.

And I promised a seal, didn’t it? Here’s one:

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But they’re cuter closer up, though that means losing the mountains:

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One more shot of the Paps of Jura here:

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And, while we’re at it, here’s a handheld panorama of the scene, seals not included!

Link GigaPan by Callan Bentley

Sorry for the dearth of posting here lately – it’s been a deeply busy time. I hope to get back in the groove again once the semester begins.