15 August 2016

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

Posted by Callan Bentley

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.


I was struck by the clouds sitting over these landforms:


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…


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

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


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


One more shot of the Paps of Jura here:


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.