Geology Field Work Essay

Geology Field Work Essay

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The area of Kuncizzjoni and Fomm ir-Riħ is found at the edge of the Victoria lines. It lies between a system of horst and graben. Kuncizzjoni is uplifted on a horst feature, which carries the Victoria lines that are built across the Great Fault. Alluvial deposits are found in the valleys due to the percolation of the rain water down to the lowest plains, and because of the high percentage of clay found in the soil. Clayey soils made the valley an ideal place to terrace fields for agricultural purposes. Consequently, this leaves little space for natural vegetation to grow. Northwest wind or Mistral is the predominating wind in the area. A southeast tilt occurs on the Island, distributing most cliffs towards the western side of Malta and lower lying beaches towards the eastern side of the Island. Three pocket beaches, protected by headlands, were observed from Kuncizzjoni in a northerly direction. These were: Ġnejna bay, Għajn Tuffieħa bay and Golden bay. This shows that there is softer rock (Globigerina, Greensands and Blue Clay) which has eroded in between bands of harder rock (headlands).
Steppe is typically found on karst, a geomorphological feature that is present due to the limestone geology of the Maltese Islands. One would expect to find Erica multiflor, Coridothymus capitatus, Asphodel aestivus and Anthyllis hermanniae subsp. melitensis (an endemic) on this type of environment. Garigue communities may also exist on karst.
The geomorphology of the place coincides with most of the western part of the Maltese Islands. Clay slopes were noted during the fieldwork, and observed to be underlying a band of Upper Coralline limestone. Clay talus forms over Globigerina limestone as the blue clay strata is forced out and down a slo...

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...lline limestone (Pedley et al., 2002). Although a high degree of wave energy is observed in this area, no sandy beach has formed. One explanation for this is that the deeper sea due to a faulting plane did not allow the deposition of boulders near the sea surface. A pebble beach formation indicates that less energy eroded boulders into pebbles.

Works Cited

Conrad, E., & Cassar, L. F. (2007). Coasts and Conflicts: Towards harmonisation and integration in the Mediterranean. Dormax Press Co. Ltd.
Huggett, J. R. (2011). Fundamentals of Geomorphology (3rd ed.). Oxon: Routledge.
Pedley, M., Clarke, M. H., & Galea, P. (2002). Limestone Isles in a Crystal Sea: The Geology of the Maltese Islands. Malta: P.E.G.
Schembri, P. J., & Baldacchino, A. E. (1998). Ilma, Blat u Ħajja: Is-sisien ta' l-ambjent naturali Malti (2nd ed.). Malta: Malta UNiversity Publishers Ltd.

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