NW Highlands controversy: geology, geologists and social climbing in Victorian times
Peter Gutteridge will be presenting to the Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group a talk on the ‘NW Highlands controversy: geology, geologists and social climbing in Victorian times’ at 1930 UK time on November 17th at St Francis Church in Kenilworth
Alternatively, you can attend by zoom.
The NW Highlands of Scotland probably has the best scenery and geology in the world. You can find the oldest rocks in the British Isles, the first evidence of life, ancient landscapes carved out by preCambrian rivers and beautifully exposed Lower Palaeozoic clastic and carbonate sediments. These are all part of a major fold and thrust belt on which the metamorphosed Moine schists were emplaced.
However, geologist Roderick Impy Murchison saw this as a conformable succession. It is worth asking the question, why did Victorian geologists so completely miss evidence that is so obvious to geologists today?
The answers lie in the state of geological science at the time, geopolitics and social climbing. Resolution of the Moine thrust controversy was a turning point in the history of geology that gave us the foundations of the science of geology as we now know it.