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The Western Highlands of Scotland - Classic Geology in Europe (Paperback)Con Gillen (author)
This guide is for those who wish to understand the interplay between rocks and scenery in a truly classic geology in Europe. Nowhere else in Britain is this link to be more clearly observed. Key geological localities that make the Scottish Highlands a unique region for the study of geology are linked together geographically in a series of journeys.
The Western Highlands contain some of the oldest rocks in Europe in a landscape formed more than a billion years ago that has re-emerged from the depths. Geologists have been examining these rocks since the early nineteenth century and, in spite of intense research in this tiny fraction of the Earth's surface, major controversies still surround some of the rock formations. Many fundamentally important concepts in geology were first developed here and then applied elsewhere around the world. The region is an outstanding natural laboratory for the study of mountain building and folding, including the discovery that thick sequences of rocks have been turned completely upside down, and pushed sideways for over 100 kilometres. Representatives of all the major rocks types are found here, and their ages span three-quarters of geological time since the Earth began, some four and a half billion years ago.
The journeys and localities are detailed in chapters: Tongue to Lochinver; Lochinver, Assynt, Ullapool; Ullapool to Gairloch; Gairloch to Kyle of Lochalsh; Kyle of Lochalsh, Glenelg, Mallaig, Cluanie, Glen Roy; Fort William, Loch Eil, Glenfinnan, Lochailort, Ardnamurchan, Strontian; Fort William, Ballachulish, Kentallen, Oban, Easdale, Kilmartin, Tayvallich and Kilmory; Fort William, Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis, Ballachulish, Glencoe, Glen Etive, Glen Orchy and Loch Lomond. Excursions are easily accessible, along footpaths and the coast, with a few more challenging options, including Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain.
This is an ideal accompaniment for geologists and earth science students visiting the Western Highlands.
Publisher: Dunedin Academic Press
Weight: 515 g
'The author has clearly spent a lifetime exploring and appreciating the geology of the Western Highlands, and he has a lot to share with the reader. The diverse geology of the chosen area is explained in a concise introduction and he then embarks on eight road journeys in which he covers 96 sites of geological interest (some with several sub-sites). That is certainly ambitious, and at first glance the book looks a rather like a tourist guide, but it is much more than that. His style is fast-paced, factual and commendably clear, without unnecessary detail, and aimed squarely at readers with knowledge of geology. Where appropriate he makes useful references to other geological guides and papers which offer more details of specific areas or excursions...
The book has much of interest for any geologist visiting the area, whether a visitor to Scotland or a ‘local’ such as myself. It encourages me to explore more of the geology, and I would certainly see, enjoy, and learn more about it by taking this book with me.'
Highland Geological Society
'This book is a field trip between round-cornered covers (so it gets less dog-eared taking it in and out of your rucksack). It covers the whole of western Scotland, excluding the Isles (inner and outer — planned as another volume in the series). The text is readable, but technical. It is structured like a field trip progressing in each regional trip locality by locality. The book is meant to be a carried guide, a set of notes, if you like, but more than that, for Dr Gillen directs you, points out what you should look for explains what you see, explores, challenges and interprets the rocks, structures and formations…
This is definitely not a book to read and put down, but rather a book to have constantly in hand as you walk the Scottish Highlands. I truly wish I had this book available years ago when I tramped and climbed in many of the regions it so ably describes.'
Proceedings of the OUG
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