Two Scottish sites on world geology list

TWO sites in Scotland have been included in a list of the world’s most-impressive geology.

Siccar Point near Dunbar and the Moine thrust belt in the North-West Highlands each played important roles in furthering scientists’ understanding of how the Earth formed.

Both have been recognised by the International Union of Geological Sciences in a list of the “First 100 Geological Heritage Sites”.

“There is a very strong argument that says that the science of geology came into being from observations first made in Scotland,” explained Robert Holdsworth, professor of structural geology at Durham University and chair of the Scottish Geology Trust.

“These are places where humankind made gigantic conceptual leaps forwards in our understanding of Earth processes and the passage of geological time.

“Such extraordinary and visually captivating localities are an inspiration to current and future geoscientists worldwide and are the centrepiece of what makes the rocks of Scotland so special.”

BBC television presenter Iain Stewart, who is also professor of geoscience communication at the University of Plymouth and professor of geology and society for the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (Unesco), added: ““Siccar Point is a sacred pilgrimage place for geologists the world over – an apparently unassuming rocky foreshore in which the full enormity of geological time is laid out in the tilted strata of the planet’s natural convulsions.

“The Moine thrust zone gave geologists a new way of seeing how mountains formed – slices of ancient strata, stacked up on top of each other, creating Himalayas-scale peaks that have been worn down to their roots.”

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