Scotland rocks!

Thursday 14 February 2002

A group of geoscientists may be one step closer to knowing where Scotland originally came from after a conference at the University of St Andrews this weekend.

The two-day event, taking place on 16 and 17 February, has attracted around 40 participants from the UK and Ireland, Scandinavia and North America.

To be held in the School of Geography and Geosciences, the event will be convened by Ian Alsop, Grahame Oliver and Tony Prave of the Geoscience Research Group. It follows recent funding awarded to the group from the Carnegie Trust to study the nature and origin of rocks on either side of the Great Glen Fault.

The conference reflects a resurgence and growing interest in the origins of the Scottish Highlands which form a critical link between the geology of Scandinavia and North America. It is hoped that discussions at the conference will help unravel some of these complicated rocks in the Scottish Highlands and that a few more pieces of this ancient geological jigsaw puzzle will fall in to place.

Dr Alsop said, “Many of the presentations to be given concern the isotopic dating of the timing and age of geological events which have affected Scotland. The Scottish rocks represent vast periods of time from the Lewisian rocks of the Outer Hebrides (which are the very oldest rocks in the British Isles at 2,700 million years old) to the Caledonian mountain chain which stretches from Scandinavia, through Scotland to North America at 400 million years old. To put this enormous amount of time in to perspective, we can divide geological history up into a simple 24 hour clock, the Lewisian rocks formed at 9.55, the Caledonian Mountains at 21.55 and humans arrived at one minute before midnight! The ancient rocks of the Scottish Landscape have a huge earth history locked up within them.”


NOTE TO EDITORS – Should you wish to send a reporter/photographer to the event, please contact Claire Grainger, preferably in advance of Friday 15 February 2002. Arrangements can be made for interviews/photography on Saturday lunchtime. Full programme detailed below.


9.00 -10.30 Registration and Coffee

10.30-11.00 A.Prave Comparative anatomy of extensional basins and orogenic unconformities: The Highlands versus the rest of the World: Quo Vadis ?

11.00-11.15 C.J.Banks Corrieyairack Basin: a sedimentological study of the Corrieyairack Subgroup of the Loch Laggan-Loch Spean area.

11.15-11.45 J R Mendum Dalradian Stratigraphy in Scotland: the hunt for time gaps.

11.45-12.15 M Krabbendam, G Leslie & C Thomas The Boundary Slide and the fate of the Middle Dalradian: a stratigraphical solution to a structural problem?

12.15-12.30 Discussion

12.30-14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.30 Craig Storey, Tim Brewer, Randy Parrish and Stephen Temperley The nature of the sub-Moinian basement, its relationship with the Moine Supergroup and its bearing on Late Proterozoic tectonics in the NW Highlands: a case study from the Glenelg-Attadale Inlier

14.30-15.00 C.R.L. Friend, P.D. Kinny & R.A. Strachan The basement inliers in Moine Supergroup of NW Scotland: what do they represent?

15.00-15.30 R.A. Strachan, M. Hand, P.D. Kinny, C.R.L. Friend, R.E. Holdsworth & E.Hyslop Dating early metamorphic events in the Moine Supergroup

15.30-16.15 Coffee and posters

16.15-16.45 H. Kocks, M. B. Fowler, P.B. Greenwood, D.P.F. Darbyshire and R. A. Strachan Granitoids of the Northern Highland Terrane: continuous or episodic plutonism? Implications of the isotopic record.

16.45-17.15 R.A. Strachan, P.D. Kinny, G. Rogers, B.A. Paterson, H. Kocks & R.E. Holdsworth U-Pb geochronology of late Neoproterozoic augen granites in the Moine Supergroup, NW Scotland: dating of rift-related felsic magmatism during the break-up of Rodinia?

17.15-17.30 Prave, A.R. The Loch na Cille Boulder Bed: Sir Edward Bailey’s folly and is it glacial or not?

17.30-18.00 Discussion and close of day


9.00-9.30 Coffee

9.30-10.00 Sarah Sherlock, Kevin Jones, Simon Kelley Knoydartian/Grampian detritus in SW Wales reavealed by40Ar/39Ar UV laserprobe dating of detrital white micas.

10.00-10.30 Gordon R. Watt Correlation between the Caledonides of Scotland and central East Greenland.

10.30-11.00 A Skelton Deformation-channelling of metamorphic fluids in the SW Scottish Highlands

11.00-11.30 Oliver, G.J.H., Alsop, G.I., MacInnes, E.A., Osinsky, G.R. & Szulc, A.G. The Outer Hebrides Fault Zone: Faulting and Fluids

11.30-12.00 Discussion and close of meeting


C.J.Banks Corrieyairack Basin: a sedimentological study of the Corrieyairack Subgroup of the Loch Laggan-Loch Spean area.

Kirkland, C., Alsop, G.I. & Prave, A.R. Fracture patterns around a major sinistral strike-slip fault system, Donegal, Ireland.

Ray Scanlon and J. Stephen Daly The Proterozoic geology of the Stanton Banks.

Szulc.A.G., Alsop, G.I. & Oliver, G.J.H. Kinematics and conditions of reactivation of the Outer Hebrides Fault Zone, Scalpay, NW Scotland.

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email [email protected] Ref: scotlandrocks/standrews/chg/14feb20 02

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