Waterloo Bay, Larne (Northern Ireland)

posted in: Abroad | 0

Throwing back to 2015… Kane and I visited Larne in Northern Ireland while we were driving around the UK. Larne is a small, seaport town on the east coast. People visit it to, ummm, well, they go to see…

Ok, so Larne isn’t a picturesque, thriving tourist town, but Larne does have one thing a lot of places don’t…a seismite

And what is a seismite? Glad you asked! A seismite is an earthquake preserved in rock. It’s different from a fault or fracture because at the time of formation the rock wasn’t fully-formed; it was still kind of soft and so deformed instead of breaking. 

About 200 milllion years ago a large earthquake shook the UK. At the time of the earthquake the sediments that form the shoreline at Larne were semi-solid. So when the earthquake hit it deformed the layers, which then solidified at a later date; preserving some pretty cool structures. Unfortunately, I can’t find any photos of it from our visit, but fortunately the Internet provides (see below)…

There are also some really cool Jurassic-age marine fossils, ammonites, bivalves etc. In 1999 a university student also discovered an ichthyosaur fossil so keep your eyes peeled!

The site itself is very easy to access. There is a walkway along the shore and some basic information boards.  

Some things to note before you go: 

  • Go on low tide when the rocks are exposed 
  • There is no hammering for samples
  • You’re probably not going to want to hang around Larne too long (sorry Larne!). We recommend driving north to see the Glens of Antrim and Giant’s Causeway. 


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