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The rugged Causeway coast of Northern Ireland's County Antrim



More than 100 million years ago, the area now occupied by the North Antrim coast was covered by a warm sea. Over countless millennia, the shells and bones of dead sea creatures piled up on the ocean floor to form sediments that slowly hardened into chalk and limestone.


From 60 million years ago, a long period of volcanic activity added beds of igneous conglomerates, and into these were intruded the lavas that cooled into hard dolerite and black basalt. Across this layer cake flowed the glaciers of the Ice Ages, and by the time these retreated, some 11 thousand years ago, they had carved out huge cliffs, caves and stacks to create some of the most impressive coastal scenery in the British Isles.

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