The Northern Highlands Terrane has basement rocks almost 3000 million years old (Lewisian Complex) that are mostly covered by the Proterozoic rocks of the Moine supergroup. These were deposited as shallow and deep marine sediments around 1000-850 million years ago and resulted from erosion of an ancient mountain chain: Grenville – itself a result of the amalgamation of the supercontinent Rodinia. They were intruded by igneous rocks and were all metamorphosed around 800 million years ago.
The Paleozoic era was dominated by the Caledonian orogeny. The Northern Highlands Terrane is the only one to have been directly affected by two consecutive orogenic stages, each of them marked by two episodes of igneous intrusions. The middle and late Paleozoic witnessed the erosion of the Caledonian mountains and the deposition of thick layers of the Old Red Sandstone supergroup in a vast and deep freshwater lake – Orcadian Basin – around Moray Firth, Orkney and west Shetland.
The Mesozoic era brought little deposition with outcrops in the Inner Hebrides, on the west coast and around Moray Firth. The Cenozoic rocks are represented by the central complexes (Ardnamurchan and Mull) and lava fields (Mull) 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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