Tuesday, January 21, 2020
geograhy of Ireland :: essays research papers
Geo essay Ireland Ireland is an island on the western fringe of Europe between latitude 51 1/2 and 55 1/2 degrees north, and longitude 5 1/2 to 10 1/2 degrees west. Its greatest length, from Malin Head in the north to Mizen Head in the south, is 486 km and its greatest width from east to west is approximately 275 km. Since 1921 the island has been divided politically into two parts. The independent twenty-six county area, comprising 70,282 sq. km, has a population of 3,523,401 (1991). Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom and contains six of the nine counties of the ancient province of Ulster, has a population of 1,569,971 (1991). In 1973 Ireland became a member of the European Union (EU). The two great mountain systems of Europe, north of the Alps, converge westwards to meet and mingle in Ireland. The older (Caledonian) extends from Scandinavia through Scotland to the north and west of Ireland, where it gives rise to the rugged and mountainous landscapes of Counties Donegal, Mayo and Galway. The higher mountains are of quartzite that weathers into bare, cone-shaped peaks such as Errigal (752 m) in Donegal, Croagh Patrick (765m) in Mayo and the Twelve Bens in Galway. Structures of similar age are responsible for the Wicklow and Blackstairs Mountains that extend southwestwards from Dublin Bay for a distance of more than 100 km. In these, long-continued denudation of a great anticlinal structure has exposed a granite core that now forms rounded peat-covered uplands, the crests being notched in places by glacial cirques. Deep glacially modified valleys of which the best known is Glendalough in County Wicklow penetrate the mountains. The younger structures (Armorican) extend from central Europe through Brittany to southern Ireland, where they reappear as a series of east-west anticlinal sandstone ridges separated by limestone or shale-floored valleys. The hills rise in height westwards culminating in Carrantouhill (1041 m) in the Magillycuddy Reeks, the highest mountain in the country. The famous Upper Lake of Killarney nestles in the eastern slopes of this range. The sea, giving rise to a number of long deep inlets has flooded the valleys separating the western extension of these mountains. In northeastern Ireland basaltic lavas spread widely over the existing rocks in Eocene times and now form the bleak plateau of east Antrim. Westwards the basalt is downwarped and the resultant drift-covered lowland is occupied in part by Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Ireland.