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29 October 2014
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COAST
Highland Fault Line
Highland Fault Line
The Highland Fault Line cuts through Scotland like a geological knife, severing Highlands from Lowlands as it slices from south-west to north-east. Although throughout most of the line the only sign showing which side you are on is whether there are mountains or not, in the vicinity of Stonehaven there are points where the fault can be seen much more clearly.

The rocks of the area are divided into three distinct groups: those of the Lowlands, those of the Highlands, and a third group sandwiched in the middle formed of sediment, known as the Highland Boundary Complex.

The rocks belonging to the Highland group are the older, being metamorphic rocks of the Dalradian period, while those of the Lowlands are Devonian sedimentary rocks, much younger in origin. The Highland rocks underwent a period of compression and uplift, forming the mountain ranges of the north - which in fact are still growing.

Highland Fault Line
Highland Fault Line

The effects of the change in rock structure is not only obvious here at the coast, if you take a look at the farms to the north and south of Stonehaven it becomes readily apparent how the geological upheaval of millions of years ago still has an impact today.

With the soils of the land south of Stonehaven formed from the red sandstone, agriculture is much more productive than on the land formed to the north from hard metamorphic rock.

 

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