Monday, May 12, 2014

Generations of geology students have swarmed over his unconformity on the way to the Cock of Arran,.

We made our way out of Loch Ranza and turned north along...

...the Newton shore where we chose to stop for second breakfast near the site of a considerable nonconformity.

Just below the wreck of this old boat (which has seen better days) lies an interesting geological feature,.It attracted the interest of the 18th century Scottish geologist James Hutton. He observed dipping old metamorphic rocks which were immediately overlain by gently sloping layers of much younger sedimentary rocks. There was no evidence of any intermediary rocks between the layers despite them being separated by 160 million years. Hutton used this unconformity to deduce that the underlying metamorphic rock had been created, metamorphosed, (altered by great forces) then uplifted and eroded before the later sedimentary rocks were overlain. Lastly, the two layers were then further uplifted then eroded to expose their junction on what is now Newton shore. He deduced from all this that the World was much older than had been previously thought.

Generations of geology students have followed Hutton to swarm all over his unconformity.

Leaving the unnconformity we passed the Fairy Glen on our way north.

This rock pippit was hopping between great...

...priapic boulders of conglomerate...

... which lay on the old red sandstone of the Cock of Arran.

For the full StereoVision experience read Ian's account here.


  1. I recognize the location from watching the TV documentary series "Geologic Journey" on our national broadcaster. Cool place.

    Tony :-)

    1. Hi Tony, Arran is a geologist's paradise. Hutton was one of those radical thinkers who went against the wisdom of his time. He gathered evidence for 25 years before publishing his book.

  2. Hello, I'm really enjoying your blog (and Ian's!), and wondered if you'd consider featuring it in Ceufad (the magazine of CanoeWales)?? If you're not interested I totally understand, however, if you are, drop me an email - - it would make a fantastic article and might inspire similar adventures!