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Geology of Scotland

https://canmore.org.uk/collection/1254316

 

The images in this feature help to illustrate the geological use to which aerial images can be put, in the mapping of major rock features, both structural and lithological. All of the images featured below are from the All Scotland Survey, a complete aerial survey of Scotland flown over the summers of 1987 to 1989. The images are at a uniform scale of 1:24,000 and are predominantly black and white, with a band across central Scotland taken in colour.

 

 

Tertiary Volcanic Complex - Ardnamurchan

 

The sub-circular shape of the Tertiary volcanic complex at Ardnamurchan is visible in this aerial photograph. This igneous feature consists of a series of ring-dykes intruded into the surrounding rocks when the roof of a magma chamber collapsed. These dykes are in turn cut by cone-sheets, intruded into the surrounding rocks when pressure in the magma chamber was high. The ring-dykes are relatively thick and angle outwards with depth, while the thinner cones angle towards the centre.

 

 

Moine Thrust - Ullapool

 

The Moine Thrust can be traced from Durness, in Sutherland, to the Isle of Skye. The line of the thrust can be seen in this photograph of the Ullapool area, where tectonic forces have pushed rocks from the east over those to the west. The photograph is also of use in tracing the location of rock layers by noting the vegetation which grows preferentially on different rock types.

 

 

Fault Scarp - Ochil Hills

 

The line of the Ochil Fault can be traced across this image, which shows the sheer scarp slope of the Ochil Hills rising up over the downthrown plain below. Subsequent glacial erosion has served to highlight this giant step in the landscape.

 

 

Highland Boundary Fault - Conic Hill

 

The Highland Boundary Fault is a geological fissure crossing Scotland, in a south-west to north-east orientation, from Arran to Stonehaven. It was active around 500 million years ago and marks the boundary between hard, Precambrian and Cambrian metamorphic rocks to the north and softer, younger, Devonian and Carboniferous sedimentary rocks to the south. The line of the fault can be traced in this image, crossing Loch Lomond from Conic Hill in a south-westerly direction, through a chain of small islands.

 

 

Highland Boundary Fault - Menteith

 

The Highland Boundary Fault is a geological fissure crossing Scotland, in a south-west to north-east orientation, from Arran to Stonehaven. It was active around 500 million years ago and marks the boundary between hard, Precambrian and Cambrian metamorphic rocks to the north and softer, younger, Devonian and Carboniferous sedimentary rocks to the south. The line of the fault forms a ridge running across this image from lower-left to upper-right.

 

 

Glacial Moraines - Glen Roy

 

Three levels of glacial moraines line the slopes of Glen Roy. Known as the "Parallel Roads" of Glen Roy, these are terraces that formed along the shorelines of an ancient ice-dammed lake which existed for around 1000 years during the last Ice Age.

 

 

Torridonian Landscape - Suilven

 

The mountains of Suilven and Stac Polly, in Wester Ross, are composed of Torridonian-age sandstone resting unconformably upon an ancient landscape of metamorphic Precambrian gneiss. These sheer-sided mountains are all that remain of the great thicknesses of sediment which were deposited by rivers flowing from a continent to the north-west.

 

 

Torridonian Landscape - Stac Polly

 

The mountains of Suilven and Stac Polly, in Wester Ross, are composed of Torridonian-age sandstone resting unconformably upon an ancient landscape of metamorphic Precambrian gneiss. These sheer-sided mountains are all that remain of the great thicknesses of sediment which were deposited by rivers flowing from a continent to the north-west.