The Hebridean Terrane contains the oldest rocks of Scotland and Europe that formed as far back as 3200 million years by the gradual assemblage of smaller crustal blocks, believed to be related to the amalgamation of the supercontinent Columbia.
The Lewisian Complex consists of Archaean and Proterozoic bedrock that was affected by repeated cycles of metamorphism and stabilized around 1600 million years ago, after which it was worn away and later covered by other rocks. The Torridonian supergroup consists of sedimentary rocks, of which sandstones are the most common. They were deposited about 1200-1000 million years ago and were not metamorphosed or buried by other sediments.
The most notable younger deposits are represented by shallow marine sandstones and carbonate rocks deposited at the beginning of the Paleozoic era, and rocks of the New Red Sandstone supergroup with a more limited outcrop. The Mesozoic was marked by deposition of sedimentary rocks, although outcrops are mostly confined to the Inner Hebrides. The Cenozoic witnessed the opening of the Atlantic Ocean about 60-55 million years ago, which caused igneous rocks to intrude into local metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. These are the central complexes (Rum, Skye, St. Kilda), lava fields (Eigg, Mull, Skye) and minor intrusion swarms of the Hebridean Igneous Province.
This informal short course over 6 weeks provides a chronological overview of the formation and deposition of major rock groups from about 3000 million years to 50 million years ago, from Scotland’s oldest rocks to the young volcanic districts of the Hebrides. It will be presented online by Dr Alex G. Neches and guest contributors.
Free, booking essential: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvfu-qrj8vHdM8uj1Y0ijwFGG7pmdBz-6S
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