Friday, October 07, 2016

Salthill Prom

Salthill is in the western part of the City of Galway, right along the shore of Galway Bay. It's Galway's beach neighborhood - swimming, amusements, restaurants, hotels, and a walk along the seawall. It was busy, but not crowded, on a gray Sunday afternoon in early September. It was almost empty on Monday morning. The low tide photos are Sunday; the high tide photos are Monday.

The beaches along here were probably pretty confused even before the riprap and the groins and the promenade. This is a low relief rocky landscape, irregularly mantled with glacial material (more drumlins?). The beaches have formed where waves and available sediment are favorable, leaving an incredibly patchy mosaic of rock, gravel, sand, and water.


The most robust beaches appeared to be the coarse gravel berms west of the Blackrock Pier. Along the Prom, the beaches are sparse and compartmentalized into sand or gravel pockets between groins or natural rocky ledges. Where sediment is abundant and beaches are wide, a modest seawall is all that is necessary to protect the sidewalk. But where the beaches are absent, remarkably high rock revetments extend to fairly low tides.

The Blackrock Diving Pier is an iconic feature of the Salthill Prom (I read that there are plans to rehabilitate it). The tide range is several meters here, making diving possible at high tide. Buoys marked swimming lanes offshore and there were plenty of folks in the water both days.

On a more geologic note, I'd like to point out the Pangaea Coffee Bar. Sunday afternoon there was a line and I wasn't paying attention. Monday morning the place was shuttered, and so I lost out on an opportunity to combine beaches, geology, and coffee.

No comments: