Loch Na Keal
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|Loch Na Keal|
View of the loch from Ben More
|Basin countries||United Kingdom|
|Max. length||23.33 km|
|Max. width||20.11 km|
|Surface area||442.497 km² (170.849 sq mi)|
|Average depth||37.7 m (123.6 ft)|
|Max. depth||112 m (366 ft)|
Loch Na Keal (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Na Caol), meaning Loch of the Kyle, or Narrows, also Loch of the Cliffs, is the principle sea loch on the western, or Atlantic coastline of the island of Mull, in the Inner Hebrides, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Loch na Keal is a large loch which extends far inland, almost bisecting Mull, and extending within 5 km (3 mi) of the eastern shore.
Loch Na Keal consists of a wide cone shaped outer loch, divided in two by the island groups of Gometra and Ulva to north of the cone, into a narrow inner loch. The outer loch starts at the boundary with Staffa, with the inner loch containing two smaller islands, Inch Kenneth at the mouth of the loch, and Eorsa in the inner loch.
The outer loch northern coastline around Ulva is made of basaltic ridges and many rocks and islets, with many different types of vegetation. The southern coastline, bounded by the Ardmeanach Peninsula, is a coastline of cliffs, land slips and slopes that are monumental in scale, and covered in scree.
The inner loch coastline is bounded on both sides by Mull, with the north shore, steeply sloped, with a number of inconsequential hills, with Killichronan Wood to the east. The souther shore, consists of cliffs and slopes leading to the Munro and extinct volcano of Ben More and Scarisdale Wood to the south east.
On the far northern coastline, in outer Loch na Keal, bounded by Ulva and Mull's western shoreline, lies the sea loch Loch Tuath. Consisting of a large number of small bays, overlooked by gentle slopes, contrasts markedly with the wildness of the outer loch.
To the northwest of Ulva and Staffa, at the outer boundary of the loch, lies the Treshnish islands.
Loch Na Keal has no main villages or large settlements. The closest large village is Salen located 4.0 km (2 1⁄2 mi) northeast across the isthmus, at the eastern end of the inner loch. Also at the eastern end of the loch, lies Gruline, which is a small scattered township, primarily consisting of crofting and tourist homes.
- "MLoch Na Keal". The Gazetteer for Scotland. Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
- "The Special Qualities of the Loch na Keal National Scenic Area". Scottish Natural Heritage. Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 2011-07-31.