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Inis Oirr is a small village located on the smallest, and most eastern of the three of the Aran Islands, Inisheer. Traditionally a fishing community, the homes are nestled among the rocks of this windswept island.
The island is an extension of The Burren. The terrain of the island is composed of limestone pavements with crisscrossing cracks known as "grikes", leaving isolated rocks called "clints". Because of this unusual environment, the Island supports a varied collection of plant life; Mediterranean and alpine plants side-by-sidet. Like the Burren, the Aran islands are renowned for their remarkable assemblage of plants and animals. The grikes (crevices) provide moist shelter, thus supporting a wide range of plants including dwarf shrubs. Where the surface of the pavement is shattered into gravel, many of the hardier Arctic or Alpine plants can be found. But when the limestone pavement is covered by a thin layer of soil, patches of grass are seen, interspersed with plants like the gentian and orchids.
The limestones date from the Visean period (Lower Carboniferous), formed as sediments in a tropical sea approximately 350 million years ago, and compressed into horizontal strata with fossil corals, crinoids, sea urchins and ammonites.
Glaciation following the Namurian phase facilitated greater denudation. The result is that Inisheer is one of the finest examples of a Glacio-Karst landscape in the world. The effects of the last glacial period (the Midlandian) are most in evidence, with the island overrun by ice during this glaciation. The impact of earlier Karstification (solutional erosion) has been eliminated by the last glacial period, so any Karstification now seen dates from approximately 10,000 years ago and the island Karst is thus recent.
This painted version will reproduce most effectively when printed on canvas, or a matt finish watercolor type paper such as Somerset Velvet.
August 26th, 2012
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