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Encyclopedia > Geology of the British Isles
Geological map of Great Britain.

The Geology of the British Isles is hugely varied and complex, and gives rise to the wide variety of landscapes found across the islands. This varied geology has also meant that the country has been an important source for the formation of many geological concepts. Download high resolution version (1036x1614, 368 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Geography of the United Kingdom Geology of the United Kingdom Talk:Geography of the United Kingdom Southern England Chalk Formation Categories: Author died more than 100 years ago public domain images | NowCommons ... Download high resolution version (1036x1614, 368 KB) File links The following pages link to this file: Geography of the United Kingdom Geology of the United Kingdom Talk:Geography of the United Kingdom Southern England Chalk Formation Categories: Author died more than 100 years ago public domain images | NowCommons ...

Contents

Seismographical results

Seismographical research shows that the crust of the Earth below the British Isles is between 27 and 35 km (17 to 22 miles) thick. The oldest rocks are found at the surface in north west Scotland and are more than half as old as the planet. They are thought to underlie much of Great Britain and Ireland (although boreholes have only penetrated the first few kilometres), but next appear extensively at the surface in Brittany and the Channel Islands. The youngest rocks are found in south east England. Seismology (from the Greek seismos = earthquake and logos = word) is the scientific study of earthquakes and the propagation of elastic waves through the Earth. ... Earth cutaway from core to exosphere. ... Adjectives: Terrestrial, Terran, Telluric, Tellurian, Earthly Atmosphere Surface pressure: 101. ... Location of the British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands off the north west coast of continental Europe comprising Great Britain, Ireland and a number of smaller islands. ... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic)1 Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic, Scots Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II... The eight planets and three dwarf planets of the Solar System. ... Historical province of Brittany, showing the main areas with their name in Breton language The traditional flag of Brittany (the Gwenn-ha-du), formerly a Breton nationalist symbol but today used as a general civic flag in the region. ... This article is about the British dependencies. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 967 AD  Area  -  Total 130,395 km²  50,346 sq mi  Population  -  2007 estimate...


Bedrock

The bedrock consists of many layers formed over vast periods of time. These were laid down in various climates as the global climate changed, the landmasses moved due to continental drift, and the land and sea levels rose or fell. From time to time horizontal forces caused the rock to undergo considerable deformation, folding the layers of rock to form mountains which have since been eroded and overlain with other layers. To further complicate the geology, the land has also been subject to periods of earthquakes and volcanic activity. Bedrock is the native consolidated rock underlying the Earths surface. ... Plates in the crust of the earth, according to the plate tectonics theory Continental drift refers to the movement of the Earths continents relative to each other. ... In engineering mechanics, deformation is a change in shape due to an applied force. ... Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University, USA. For erosion as an operation of Mathematical morphology, see Erosion (morphology) Erosion is displacement of solids (soil, mud, rock and other particles) by the agents of ocean currents, wind, water, or ice by downward or down-slope movement... An earthquake is the result from the sudden release of stored energy in the Earths crust that creates seismic waves. ... This article is about volcanoes in geology. ...


Deposits by glaciers

Overprinted on this bedrock geology ("solid geology" in the terminology of the maps) is a somewhat variable distribution of soils and fragmental material deposited by glaciers (boulder clay, and other forms of glacial drift in the recent past. Maps showing the distribution of this "drift" geology are frequently produced as either separate maps, or as literal overprints on the solid geology maps. When ordering maps, this distinction should be kept in mind. Catalogues often distinguish them as "S", "D" or "S+D" maps. "Drift" geology is often more important than "solid" geology when considering building works, drainage, siting water boreholes, soil fertility, and many other issues. Bedrock is the native consolidated rock underlying the Earths surface. ... Boulder clay in geology, is a deposit of clay, often full of boulders, which is formed in and beneath glaciers and ice-sheets wherever they are found, but is in a special sense the typical deposit of the Glacial Period in northern Europe and America. ... Many now-familiar glacial landforms were created by the movement of huge sheets of ice called continental glaciers during the Pleistocene Epoch (more commonly called the Ice Age. ...


Geological history

Proterozoic Era

The Gneisses, the oldest rocks in Britain or Ireland, date from at least 2,700 Ma (Ma = millions of years ago) in the Archean period of this era, the Earth itself being only about 4,600 Ma old. They are found in the far north west of Scotland and in the Hebrides, with a few small outcrops elsewhere. Formed from rock originally deposited at the surface of the planet, the rocks were later buried deep in the Earth's crust and metamorphosed into crystalline gneiss. Gneiss Gneiss (IPA: ) is a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from preexisting formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks. ... The Archean is a geologic eon; it is a somewhat antiquated term for the time span between 2500 million years before the present and 3800 million years before the present. ... Adjectives: Terrestrial, Terran, Telluric, Tellurian, Earthly Atmosphere Surface pressure: 101. ... This article is about the Hebrides islands in Scotland. ... Quartzite, a form of metamorphic rock, from the Museum of Geology at University of Tartu collection. ...


South of the Gneisses are a complex mixture of rocks forming the North West Highlands and Grampian Highlands in Scotland, as well as the Connemara, Donegal and Mayo mountains of Ireland. These are essentially the remains of folded sedimentary rocks that were originally 25 km thick, deposited over the gneiss on what was then the floor of the Iapetus Ocean. The process started in about 1,000 Ma, with a notable 7 km thick layer of Torridon Sandstone being deposited about 800 Ma, as well as the debris deposited by an ice sheet 670 Ma. The Scottish Highlands are the mountainous regions of Scotland north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault. ... Grampian (Roinn a Mhonaidh in Gaelic) was a local government region of Scotland from 1975 to 1996. ... Connemara (Irish Conamara), which derives from Conmhaicne Mara (meaning: descendants of Con Mhac, of the sea), is a district in the west of Ireland (County Galway). ... Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall) is a town in County Donegal, Ireland. ... Statistics Province: Connacht County Town: Castlebar Code: MO Area: 5,397 km² Population (2006) 123,648 Website: www. ... Two types of sedimentary rock: limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... The Iapetus Ocean was an Ocean that existed in the Southern Hemisphere between Scotland, England and Scandinavia between 400 and 600 million years ago. ... In geology, Torridonian describes a series of proterozoic arenaceous sedimentary rocks, extensively developed in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, and particularly in the district of upper Loch Torridon, a circumstance which suggested the name Torridon Sandstone, first applied to these rocks by James Nicol. ... Moraine at Mono Lake, California, United States Moraines clearly seen on a side glacier of the Gorner Glacier, Zermatt, Switzerland. ... An ice sheet is a mass of glacier ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50,000 km² (19,305 mile²). The only current ice sheets are Antarctic and Greenland; during the last ice age at Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) the Laurentide ice sheet covered much of Canada...


Paleomagnetic evidence indicates that 520 Ma, what is now the UK was split between two continents, separated by 7000 km (4500 miles) of ocean. The north of Scotland was located at about 20° south of the equator on the continent of Laurentia near the Tropic of Capricorn, while the rest of the country was at about 60° south on the continent of Gondwana near the Antarctic Circle. Paleomagnetism refers to the study of the record of the Earths magnetic field preserved in various magnetic minerals through time. ... Animated, colour-coded map showing the various continents. ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... World map showing the Tropic of Capricorn For the novel by Henry Miller, see Tropic of Capricorn (novel). ... Gondwanaland redirects here. ... Zoomable PDF of the map this is based on The Antarctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. ...


In Gondwana, England and Wales were near a subduction zone. Both countries were largely submerged under a shallow sea studded with volcanic islands. The remains of these islands underlie much of central England with small outcrops visible in many places. Around 600 Ma, the Cadomian Orogeny (mountain building period) caused the English and Welsh landscape to be transformed into a mountainous region, along with much of north west Europe. This article is about the country. ... The Juan de Fuca plate sinks below the North America plate at the Cascadia subduction zone. ... For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Period between the Neoproterozoic and the Cambrian era where was formed mountains that form basement of many parts of Europe. ... World map showing the location of Europe. ...


Paleozoic Era

Cambrian period

In the early Cambrian period the volcanoes and mountains of England and Wales were eroded as the land became flooded by a rise in sea level, and new layers of sediment were laid down. Much of central England formed a stable block of crust which has remained largely undeformed ever since. Sandstones were deposited in the north of Scotland. As this is when the first hard shells evolved, fossils become much more common from this period onwards. The Cambrian is a major division of the geologic timescale that begins about 542 ± 1. ... FOSSIL is a standard for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under DOS. FOSSIL is an acronym for Fido Opus Seadog Standard Interface Layer. ...


Ordovician period

500 million years ago, in the Ordovician period, southern Britain, the east coast of North America and south-east Newfoundland broke away from Gondwana to form the continent of Avalonia, which by 440 Ma had drifted (by the mechanisms of plate tectonics) to about 30° south. The Ordovician period is the second of the six (seven in North America) periods of the Paleozoic era. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... For other uses, see Newfoundland (disambiguation). ... Avalonia was a paleomicrocontinent also known as a Terrane. ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ...


Having joined with the continent of Baltica, the combined landmass collided with Laurentia at about 20° south around 425 Ma, joining the southern and northern halves of the British Isles together. Baltica (green) Baltica is a Late Proterozoic-Early Palaeozoic continent that now includes the East European craton of northwestern Eurasia. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Location of the British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands off the north west coast of continental Europe comprising Great Britain, Ireland and a number of smaller islands. ...


During this period north Wales and south Mayo experienced volcanic activity. The remains of these volcanoes are still visible, for example Rhobell Fawr, dating from 510 Ma. Large quantities of volcanic lava and ash known as the Borrowdale Volcanics covered both Wales and the Lake District, still seen in the form of mountains such as Helvellyn and Scafell Pike. This article is about volcanoes in geology. ... Look up lava, Aa, pahoehoe in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Borrowdale Volcanics or, more correctly, in modern terminology, the Borrowdale Volcanic Group are a development of volcanic rocks named after the Borrowdale area of the Lake District, in England. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Helvellyn is a mountain in the English Lake District. ... At 978 metres (3,208 feet), Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England. ...


The Ordovician also saw the formation of the Welsh Skiddaw slate deposits around 500 Ma. Skiddaw is a mountain in the Lake District National Park in the United Kingdom. ... Slate Thick slate fragment Slate roof Slate is a fine-grained, homogeneous, metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low grade regional metamorphism. ...


Silurian period

Deposition continued into the early part of the Silurian period, with mudstones and sandstones being laid down, notably in Wales. Later in the period, as the two halves of the British Isles collided between 425 and 400 Ma, the Caledonian Orogeny produced an Alpine-style mountain range in much of north and west Britain. The continental collision was probably at an oblique angle rather than a head-on collision, and this probably led to movement along strike-slip faults trending north-east to south-west across Scotland (some of these fault zones may have been old lines of weakness from earlier earth movements). The Silurian is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Ordovician period, about 443. ... The Caledonian orogeny is a hypothetical series of events in geologic history explaining a group of highland formations that are very similar in composition, stratigraphy and fossils: the mountains and hills of northern England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and west Norway. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Geologic faults, fault lines or simply faults are planar rock fractures, which show evidence of relative movement. ...


Volcanic ashes and lavas deposited during the Silurian are still found in the Mendip Hills and in Pembrokeshire. The Mendip Hills (commonly called The Mendips) are a range of limestone hills (karst) situated to the south of Bristol and Bath in north Somerset, England. ... Pembrokeshire (Welsh: ) is a county in the southwest of Wales in the United Kingdom. ...


Devonian period

The collision between continents continued during the Devonian period, with continuing uplift, and more volcanic deposits such as those now forming Ben Nevis. Sea levels varied considerably, with the coastline advancing and retreating from north to south across England. The uplifted region was gradually eroded down, resulting in the deposition of numerous sedimentary rock layers in lowlands and seas. The Old Red Sandstone of Devon gave the period its name, though deposits are found in many other places, such as the Brecon Beacons, the midland valley of Scotland, and the Orkney Islands. The Devonian is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Silurian period (360 million years ago (mya)) to the beginning of the Mississippian subperiod of the Carboniferous (408. ... Ben Nevis (Gaelic: Beinn Nibheis) is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom. ... The Old Red Sandstone is a rock formation of considerable importance to early paleontology. ... “Devonshire” redirects here. ... Part of the Brecon Beacons, looking from the highest point Pen y Fan, 886 m (2907 feet), to Cribyn, 795 m (2608 feet) The Brecon Beacons (Welsh: Bannau Brycheiniog) are a mountain range located in the south-east of Wales. ... The Orkney Islands, usually called simply Orkney, are one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. ...


The Caledonian mountains had largely been eroded away by the end of the period during which the country would have experienced an arid desert climate and been located between 10° and 15° south of the equator. The Caledonian orogeny is a mountain building event recorded in the mountains and hills of northern Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, and west Norway. ... Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University, USA. For erosion as an operation of Mathematical morphology, see Erosion (morphology) Erosion is displacement of solids (soil, mud, rock and other particles) by the agents of ocean currents, wind, water, or ice by downward or down-slope movement... This article is about arid terrain. ...


Carboniferous period

Around 360 Ma during the Carboniferous period the British Isles were lying at the equator, covered by the warm shallow waters of the Rheic Ocean, during which time the Carboniferous Limestone was deposited, as found in the Mendip Hills, north and south Wales, in the Peak District of Derbyshire, north Lancashire, the northern Pennines and southeast Scotland. Caves have developed more recently in the limestone in some of these areas. The Carboniferous is a major division of the geologic timescale that extends from the end of the Devonian period, about 359. ... The Rheic Ocean was an ocean in the Paleozoic Era that existed between the continent of Baltica (northern Europe) and number of terranes broken up from Gondwana, including the future southern Europe. ... The Mendip Hills (commonly called The Mendips) are a range of limestone hills (karst) situated to the south of Bristol and Bath in north Somerset, England. ... The Peak District is an upland area in central and northern England, lying mainly in northern Derbyshire, but also covering parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and South and West Yorkshire. ... Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. ... Lancashire is a county in North West England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea. ... Typical Pennine scenery. ...


These were followed by dark marine shales, siltstones and coarse sandstones of the Millstone Grit. Later, river deltas formed and the sediments deposited were colonised by swamps and rain forest. It was in this environment that the cyclic Coal Measures were formed, the source of the majority of Britain's extensive coal reserves that powered the Industrial Revolution. Coal can be found in many areas of Britain and Ireland, as far north as the midland valley of Scotland, as far south as Kent and in Ireland, though it has largely been mined in the English midlands, northern England and Wales. Gritstone is a sedimentary rock composed of coarse sand grains and is a coarser version of sandstone. ... Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A rainforest is a forested biome with high annual rainfall. ... Cyclic sediments (also called rhythmic sediments[1]) are sequences of sedimentary rocks that are characterised by repetitive patterns of different rock types (strata) within the sequence. ... A coal measure (stratigraphic unit) is the name given to any rock sequence that occurs in the upper part of the Carboniferous System in Europe. ... Coal Coal (IPA: ) is a fossil fuel formed in swamp ecosystems where plant remains were saved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation. ... A Watt steam engine. ... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic)1 Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic, Scots Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II... coat of Arms of Kent For other uses, see Kent (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Throughout the period, southwest England in particular was affected by the collision of continental plates. The Variscan orogeny (mountain building period) around 280 Ma caused major deformation in south west England. Towards its end granite was formed beneath the overlying rocks of Devon and Cornwall, now exposed as Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, giving rise to mineralised deposits of copper and tin. The general region of Variscan folding was south of an east-west line roughly from south Pembrokeshire to Kent. The main tectonic pressure was from the south or south-east, and may have resulted in dextral strike-slip faulting. The Devon-Cornwall massif may originally have been some distance further east, then to be moved westwards. Lesser Variscan folding took place as far north as Derbyshire and Berwick-upon-Tweed. The Variscan or Hercynian orogeny is a geologic mountain-building event recorded in the European mountains and hills called the Variscan Belt. ... Close-up of granite from Yosemite National Park, valley of the Merced River Quarrying granite for the Mormon Temple, Utah Territory. ... “Devonshire” redirects here. ... Cornwall (Cornish: ) is a county in South West England, United Kingdom, on the peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar and Devon. ... High Willhays, the highest point on Dartmoor and southern England at 621 m (2037 ft) above sea level, with Yes Tor beyond. ... The Cheeswring, a granite tor on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor (Photo by Mick Knapton) Bodmin Moor is a granite moorland in northeastern Cornwall, England, 208 km² in size, dating from the Carboniferous period of geological history. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic pinkish red Standard atomic weight 63. ... General Name, Symbol, Number tin, Sn, 50 Chemical series poor metals Group, Period, Block 14, 5, p Appearance silvery lustrous gray Standard atomic weight 118. ... Pembrokeshire (Welsh: ) is a county in the southwest of Wales in the United Kingdom. ... coat of Arms of Kent For other uses, see Kent (disambiguation). ... Geologic faults, fault lines or simply faults are planar rock fractures, which show evidence of relative movement. ... “Devonshire” redirects here. ... Cornwall (Cornish: ) is a county in South West England, United Kingdom, on the peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar and Devon. ... Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. ... Map sources for Berwick-upon-Tweed at grid reference NT9952 Berwick-upon-Tweed from across the river Berwick-upon-Tweed, (pronounced Berrick) situated in the county of Northumberland, is the northernmost town in England, situated on the east coast on the mouth of the river Tweed. ...


By the end of the period the various continents of the World had fused to form one super-continent of Pangaea, with Britain in the interior, where it was again subject to a hot arid desert climate, with frequent flash floods leaving deposits that formed red beds, somewhat similar to the later, Triassic New Red Sandstone. For other uses, see Pangaea (disambiguation). ... The Triassic is a geologic period that extends from about 251 ± 0. ... The New Red Sandstone is a chiefly-British geological term for the Triassic red beds that underlie the Jurassic Lias; the term distinguishes it from the Devonian Old Red Sandstone. ...


Permian period

The Permian was characterised for 30 million years by arid desert and erosion of the areas uplifted in the Variscan Orogeny (southwest England and adjacent areas in the present-day English Channel). Later, much of the British Isles were submerged in shallow waters as the polar ice sheets melted and the Tethys Ocean and Zechstein Sea formed, depositing shale, limestone, gravel, and marl, before finally receding to leave a flat desert with salt pans. The Permian is a geologic period that extends from about 299. ... Tethys Ocean (here labeled Tethys Sea) divides Pangea into two supercontinents, Laurasia and Gondwana The Tethys Ocean was a Mesozoic era ocean that existed between the continents of Gondwana and Laurasia before the opening of the Indian Ocean. ... Zechstein (German either from mine stone or tough stone) is a geological formation of Late Permian (Guadalupian and Lopingian) age located in the European Permian Basin which stretches from the East Coast of England to Northern Poland. ... Shale Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Gravel being unloaded from a barge Gravel is rock that is of a certain grain size range. ... Marls are calcium carbonate or lime rich muds or mudstones which contain variable amounts of clays and calcite or aragonite. ... Salt pans can refer to: Salt pan (geology), a flat expanse of ground covered with salt and other minerals, usually found in deserts. ...


Mesozoic Era

Triassic period

As Pangaea drifted during the Triassic, the British Isles moved away from the equator until they were between 20° and 30° north. Red beds, including sandstones and red mudstones form the main sediments of the New Red Sandstone. The remnants of the Variscan uplands in France to the south were eroded down, resulting in layers of the New Red Sandstone being deposited across central England, and in faulted basins in Cheshire and the Irish Sea. A basin developed in the Hampshire region around this time. Rifting occurred within and around Britain and Ireland, prior to the breakup of the super-continent in the Jurassic period. The Triassic is a geologic period that extends from about 251 ± 0. ... Red Sandstone in Wyoming Layered sandstone Sandstone is an arenaceous sedimentary rock composed mainly of feldspar and quartz and varies in colour (in a similar way to sand), through grey, yellow, red, and white. ... Mudstone is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. ... The New Red Sandstone is a chiefly-British geological term for the Triassic red beds that underlie the Jurassic Lias; the term distinguishes it from the Devonian Old Red Sandstone. ... Geologic faults, fault lines or simply faults are planar rock fractures, which show evidence of relative movement. ... The Cheshire Plain - photo taken adjacent to Beeston Castle The Cheshire Plain - photo taken towards Merseyside The Cheshire Plain panorama - photo taken from Mid-Cheshire Ridge Cattle farming in the county Black-and-white timbered buildings on Nantwich High Street Cheshire (or, archaically, the County of Chester)[1] is a... Hampshire, sometimes historically Southamptonshire or Hamptonshire, (abbr. ... In geology, a rift is a place where the Earths lithosphere is expanding. ...


Rock fragments found near Bristol appear to indicate that in 214 Ma Great Britain was showered with a fine layer of debris from an asteroid impact at the Manicouagan Impact Crater in Canada, although this is still being debated. View from Cumberland Basin of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge Bristol (IPA: ) is a city, unitary authority and ceremonial county in South West England, 115 miles (185 km) west of London. ... Artists impression of a major impact event. ... Manic-cinq dam, primary dam on the Manicouagan Reservoir Manicouagan Reservoir (also Lake Manicouagan) is an annular lake in northern Quebec, Canada, the remnant of an impact crater or astrobleme made approximately 212 million years ago, towards the end of the Triassic period. ...


Jurassic period

As the Jurassic started, Pangaea began to break up and sea levels rose, as Britain and Ireland drifted on the Eurasian Plate to between 30° and 40° north. With much of the Isles under water again, sedimentary rocks were deposited and can now be found underlying much of southern England from the Cleveland Hills of Yorkshire to the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, including clays, sandstones, greensands, oolitic limestone of the Cotswold Hills, corallian limestone of the Vale of White Horse and the Isle of Portland. The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 199. ... For other uses, see Pangaea (disambiguation). ...  The Eurasian plate, shown in green The Eurasian Plate is a tectonic plate covering Eurasia (a landmass consisting of the continents Europe and Asia) except that it does not cover the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian subcontinent, and the area east of the Verkhoyansk Range in East Siberia. ... Two types of sedimentary rock: limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... The Cleveland Hills are (some grographical feature in England). ... Look up Yorkshire in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Lyme Bay. ... Stylised simple Geology map of Dorset Dorset, England, rests on a variety of different rock types which give the county its interesting landscapes and habitats. ... The Gay Head cliffs in Marthas Vineyard are made almost entirely of clay. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... Greensand is an olive-green coloured sandstone rock which found in narrow bands, particularly associated with bands of chalk and clay in northern and western Europe. ... Oolitic phosphate rock from Permian Phosphoria formation, Montana. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Cotswolds are a range of hills in central England, sometimes called the heart of England, a hilly area reaching nearly 300 m or 1000 feet. ... Corallian Limestone is a coralliferous sedimentary rock, laid down in Jurassic times. ... The Vale of White Horse is a local government district of Oxfordshire in England. ... Portland Stone is limestone from the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. ...


The burial of algae and bacteria below the mud of the sea floor during this time resulted in the formation of North Sea oil and natural gas, much of it trapped in overlying sandstone by salt deposits formed as the seas fell to form the swamps and salty lakes and lagoons that were home to dinosaurs. A seaweed (Laurencia) up close: the branches are multicellular and only about 1 mm thick. ... Phyla/Divisions Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Omnibacteria Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular, bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... // North Sea Oil Platforms North Sea oil refers to oil and natural gas (hydrocarbons) produced from oil reservoirs beneath the North Sea. ... Natural gas is a gaseous fossil fuel consisting primarily of methane but including significant quantities of ethane, butane, propane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, helium and hydrogen sulfide. ... For other uses, see Salt (disambiguation). ... Orders & Suborders Saurischia Sauropodomorpha Theropoda Ornithischia Thyreophora Ornithopoda Marginocephalia Dinosaurs were vertebrate animals that dominated the terrestrial ecosystem for over 160 million years, first appearing approximately 230 million years ago. ...


Cretaceous period

The modern continents having formed, the Cretaceous saw the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, gradually separating northern Scotland from North America. The land underwent a series of uplifts to form a fertile plain. The Cretaceous Period is one of the major divisions of the geologic timescale, reaching from the end of the Jurassic Period (i. ... World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ...


After 20 million years or so, the seas started to flood the land again until much of Britain and Ireland were again below the sea, though sea levels frequently changed. Chalk and flints were deposited over much of Great Britain, now notably exposed at the White Cliffs of Dover and the Seven Sisters, and also forming Salisbury Plain. The high sea levels left only small areas of land exposed. This caused the general lack of land-origin sand, mud or clay sediments around this time - some of the late Cretaceous strata are almost pure chalk. The Needles,situated on the Isle Of Wight, are part of the extensive Southern England Chalk Formation. ... A flint nodule from the Onondaga limestone layer, Buffalo, New York. ... The location and extent of the white cliffs of Dover. ... The Seven Sisters cliffs and the lifeboat cottages, from Seaford Head across the River Cuckmere The Seven Sisters are a famous series of chalk cliffs by the English Channel. ... This article is about the plateau in southern England; Salisbury Plain is also an area on South Georgia Island. ...


Cenozoic Era

Paleogene period

In the early Paleogene period between 63 and 52 Ma, the last volcanic rocks in the British Isles were formed, with the major eruptions that formed the Antrim Plateau and the basaltic columns of the Giant's Causeway. The volcanic Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel also dates from this period. Paleogene (alternatively Palaeogene) period is a unit of geologic time that began 65 and ended 23 million years ago. ... Statistics Province: Ulster County Town: Antrim Area: 2,844 km² Population (est. ... Basalt Basalt (IPA: ) is a common gray to black extrusive volcanic rock. ... The Giants Causeway is an area of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns resulting from a volcanic eruption. ... The Old Light, Lundy For a map, see the end of this article Lundy is an island in the Bristol Channel of Great Britain, about a third of the way from Devon to the coast of South Wales. ... The location of the Bristol Channel The Severn Bridge and Bristol Channel, looking northwestward from England towards Wales The Bristol Channel coast at Ilfracombe, North Devon, looking west towards Lee Bay The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from South West...


The Alpine Orogeny that took place about 50 Ma was responsible for the shaping of the Weald south of London, and also the North Downs, South Downs and Chiltern Hills. The Alps arose as a result of the pressure exerted on sediments of the Tethys Ocean basin as its Mesozoic and early Cenozoic strata were pushed against the stable Eurasian landmass by the northward-moving African landmass. ... A weald once meant a dense forest, especially the famous great wood once stretching far beyond the ancient counties of Sussex and Kent, England, where this country of smaller woods is still called the Weald. ...


During the period the North Sea formed, Britain was uplifted. Some of this uplift was along old lines of weakness from the Caledonian and Variscan Orogenies long before. The uplifted areas were then eroded, and further sediments were deposited over southern England, including the London Clay, while the English Channel consisted of mud flats and river deposited sands. Much of the midlands and north of England may have been covered by Jurassic and Cretaceous deposits at the start of the Paleogene, but lost them through erosion. By 35 Ma the landscape included beech, oak, redwood and palm trees, along with grassland. The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean, located between the coasts of Norway and Denmark in the east, the coast of the British Isles in the west, and the German, Dutch, Belgian and French coasts in the south. ... Look up preston in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The London Clay is a marine deposit which is well known for the fossils it contains. ... Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: (IPA: ), the sleeve; Dutch: Het Kanaal) is the part of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. ... Mudflats are relatively flat, muddy regions found in intertidal areas. ... Patterns in the sand Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles. ... Species Fagus crenata - Japanese Beech Fagus engleriana - Chinese Beech Fagus grandifolia - American Beech Fagus hayatae - Taiwan Beech Fagus japonica - Japanese Blue Beech Fagus longipetiolata - South Chinese Beech Fagus lucida - Shining Beech Fagus mexicana - Mexican Beech or Haya Fagus orientalis - Oriental Beech Fagus sylvatica - European Beech Beech (Fagus) is a genus... Species See List of Quercus species The term oak can be used as part of the common name of any of several hundred species of trees and shrubs in the genus Quercus, and some related genera, notably Cyclobalanopsis and Lithocarpus. ... Binomial name Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl. ... Genera Many; see list of Arecaceae genera Arecaceae (sometimes known by the names Palmae or Palmaceae, although the latter name is taxonomically invalid. ... Natural vegetation dominated by grasses Grass is a common word that generally describes a monocotyledonous green plant in the family Poaceae. ...


Neogene period

Miocene and Pliocene epochs

In the Miocene and Pliocene epochs of the Neogene, further uplift and erosion occurred, particularly in Wales, the Pennines, and the Scottish Highlands. Plant and animal types developed into their modern forms, and by about 2 million years ago the landscape would have been broadly recognisable today. The Miocene Epoch is a period of time that extends from about 23. ... The Pliocene epoch (spelled Pleiocene in some older texts) is the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5. ... Neogene Period is a unit of geologic time consisting of the Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene epochs. ...


Pleistocene epoch

The major changes during the Pleistocene have been brought about by several recent ice ages. The Pleistocene epoch (IPA: ) is part of the geologic timescale. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ...


The most severe was the Anglian glaciation, with ice up to 1,000 m (3300 ft) thick that reached as far south as London and Bristol, took place between about 500,000 to 400,000 years ago, and was responsible for the diversion of the River Thames onto its present course. The Anglian glaciation is a name for an ice age period which occurred between 450,000 and 300,000 years ago. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... View from Cumberland Basin of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge Bristol (IPA: ) is a city, unitary authority and ceremonial county in South West England, 115 miles (185 km) west of London. ... The Thames (pronounced //) is a river flowing through southern England, and one of the major waterways in England. ...


There is extensive evidence in the form of stone tools that southern England was colonised by human populations during the warm Hoxnian interglacial period that followed the Anglian Glaciation. It is possible that the English Channel repeatedly opened and closed during this period, causing Britain to become an island from time to time. The oldest human fossils in the Isles also date from this time, including the skull of Swanscombe Man from 250,000 years ago, and the earlier Clactonian Man. Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) in the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... The Hoxnian interglacial is a name for an interglacial period which occurred between 300,000 and 200,000 years ago. ... Satellite view of the English Channel The English Channel (French: (IPA: ), the sleeve; Dutch: Het Kanaal) is the part of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. ... FOSSIL is a standard for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under DOS. FOSSIL is an acronym for Fido Opus Seadog Standard Interface Layer. ... Barnfield Pit is the site of a gravel quarry near the village of Swanscombe in the north west of the English county of Kent. ... The Clactonian is the name given by archaeologists to an industry of European flint tool manufacture which dates to the early part of the interglacial period known as the Hoxnian, the Mindell-Riss or the Holstein interglacial (300,000-200,000 years ago). ...


The Wolstonian glaciation, between about 200,000 to 130,000 years ago, and thought to have peaked around 150,000 years ago, was named after the town of Wolston south of Birmingham which is thought to mark the southern limit of the ice. The Wolstonian glaciation is a name for an ice age period which occurred between 200,000 and 125,000 years ago. ... Wolston is a village and civil parish in the Rugby borough of Warwickshire, England. ... unga bunga This article is about the English city. ...


The Wolstonian was followed by the Ipswichian interglacial, during which hippopotamus are known to have lived as far north as Leeds. The Ipswichian interglacial is a name for an interglacial period which occurred between 150,000 and 115,000 years ago. ... Binomial name Hippopotamus amphibius Linnaeus, 1758 Range map The hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), from the Greek ‘ιπποπόταμος (hippopotamos, hippos meaning horse and potamos meaning river), is a large, mostly plant-eating African mammal, one of only two extant, and three or four recently extinct, species in the family Hippopotamidae. ... Leeds is a major city in West Yorkshire, England. ...


During the most recent Devensian glaciation, which is thought to have started around 115,000 years ago, peaked around 20,000 years ago and ended a mere 10,000 years ago, the Usk valley and Wye valley were eroded by glaciers, with the ice sheet itself reaching south to Birmingham. The oldest human remains in Britain or Ireland, the Red Lady of Paviland (29,000 years old) date from this time. It is thought that the country was eventually abandoned as the ice sheet reached its peak, being recolonised as it retreated. By 5,000 years ago it is thought that the British Isles were warmer than they are at present. The Devensian glaciation is a name for an ice age period which occurred between 120,000 and 10,000 years ago. ... The River Usk, Afon Wysg in Welsh, rises in the mountains of mid-Wales then flows south-east through Abergavenny and the eponymous town of Usk to the Roman legionary fortress of Caerleon and the Bristol Channel at Newport. ... River Wye and Lancat and Ban y Gore Nature Reserve The Wye at Hay-on-Wye The Wye at Tintern This article is about the river that flows along the Anglo-Welsh border. ... Glacial and Glaciation redirect here. ... unga bunga This article is about the English city. ... The Red Lady of Paviland was a fairly complete human skeleton dyed in red ochre that was discovered in 1826 by Rev. ...


Among the features left behind by the ice are the fjords of the west coast of Scotland, the U shaped valleys of the Lake District and erratics (blocks of rock) that have been transported from the Oslo region of Norway and deposited on the coast of Yorkshire. Fjord in Sunnmøre, Norway Fjords are very long inlets from the sea with high steeply sloped walled sides. ... A glaciated valley is one formed by the process of glaciation. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... An erratic is a fragment of glacial till carried by ice, sometimes for hundreds of miles, and deposited on rocks of a different geologic composition. ... County Oslo NO-03 District Viken Municipality NO-0301 Administrative centre Oslo Mayor (2004) Per Ditlev-Simonsen (H) Official language form BokmÃ¥l Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 224 454 km² 426 km² 0. ... Look up Yorkshire in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Holocene epoch

Over the last twelve thousand years (the Holocene Epoch) the most significant new geological features have been the deposits of peat in Ireland and Scotland, as well as in coastal areas that have recently been artificially drained such as the Somerset Levels, The Fens and Romney Marsh in England. The Holocene epoch is a geological period that extends from the present day back to about 10,000 radiocarbon years, approximately 11,430 ± 130 calendar years BP (between 9560 and 9300 BC). ... Peat in Lewis, Scotland Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. ... The view towards Brent Knoll from Glastonbury Tor. ... The Fens, also known as the Fenland, consist of an area of former wetlands in the eastern part of England, stretching around the coast of The Wash from Lincolnshire to Norfolk and reaching into the historic counties of Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire and Suffolk. ... The Romney Marsh is a sparsely-populated wetland area in the counties of Kent and East Sussex in the south-east of England. ...


Since humans began clearing the forest during the new stone age, most of the land has now been deforested, speeding the natural processes of erosion. Large quantities of stone, gravel and clay are extracted each year, and by 2000 11% of England was covered by roads or buildings. An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ... Severe soil erosion in a wheat field near Washington State University, USA. For erosion as an operation of Mathematical morphology, see Erosion (morphology) Erosion is displacement of solids (soil, mud, rock and other particles) by the agents of ocean currents, wind, water, or ice by downward or down-slope movement... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mountain road with hairpin turns in the French Alps For other uses, see Road (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


At the present time Scotland is continuing to rise as a result of the weight of Devensian ice being lifted. The rest of Britain is sinking, generally estimated at 1 mm (1/25 inch) per year, with the London area sinking at double the speed partly due to the continuing compression of the recent clay deposits.


In addition, rises in sea level thought to be due to global warming appear likely to make low lying areas of land increasingly susceptible to flooding, while in some areas the coastline continues to erode at a geologically rapid rate. Global mean surface temperatures 1850 to 2006 Mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980 Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earths atmosphere and oceans in recent decades and the projected...


The British Isles continue to be subject to several very minor earthquakes each month, and occasional light to moderate ones. During the 20th century 25 earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.5 to 6.1 on the Richter scale were felt [1], many of them originating within the Isles themselves. An earthquake is the result from the sudden release of stored energy in the Earths crust that creates seismic waves. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... The Richter magnitude scale (or more correctly local magnitude ML scale) assigns a single number to quantify the amount of seismic energy released by an earthquake. ...


Geological features

Cheddar Gorge is the largest gorge in the United Kingdom Cheddar Gorge is the largest gorge in the United Kingdom, near the village of Cheddar in the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England. ... Lyme Bay. ... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... The Great Glen Geological Fault The Great Glen Fault is a long strike-slip fault or ancient transform fault that runs through its namesake the Great Glen (Glen Albyn) in Scotland. ... The Highland Boundary Fault traverses Scotland from Arran to Stonehaven. ... This article is about the plateau in southern England; Salisbury Plain is also an area on South Georgia Island. ... The Tees-Exe line is an imaginary line that can be draw on a map of the British mainland which roughly divides the lowland and upland regions of the country. ... Whin Sill is a Sill in the northern-most county of Northumberland, England. ...

Geological resources

Coal Coal (IPA: ) is a fossil fuel formed in swamp ecosystems where plant remains were saved by water and mud from oxidization and biodegradation. ... // North Sea Oil Platforms North Sea oil refers to oil and natural gas (hydrocarbons) produced from oil reservoirs beneath the North Sea. ... This is intended as a list of, or links to, stone currently or historically produced in various countries (not generic types of stone). ...

Events

On 30 January 1607 (New style) the Bristol Channel floods resulted in the drowning of an estimated 2,000 or more people, with houses and villages swept away, farmland inundated and livestock destroyed, wrecking the local economy along the coasts of the Bristol Channel, England. ... The earthquake known as the Colchester Earthquake occurred on April 22, 1884, and caused considerable damage in Colchester and the surrounding villages in Essex, England. ... Year 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The 2002 Dudley earthquake was an earthquake registering 5. ...

Institutions

The Geological Society of London is a learned society based in England with the aim of investigating the mineral structure of the Earth. It is the oldest national geological society in the world and the largest in Europe with over 9000 Fellows entitled to the postnominal FGS - over 2000 of... The Edinburgh Geological Society was founded in 1834 with the aim of stimulating public interest in geology and the advancement of geological knowledge. ... The British Geological Survey is a publicly-funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research. ...

People

Mary Anning. ... Thomas George Bonney (July 27, 1833 - December 10, 1923) was an English geologist. ... William Buckland (12 March 1784 - 24 August 1856) was a prominent English geologist and palaeontologist who wrote the first full account of a fossil dinosaur, a proponent of Old Earth creationism and Flood geology who later became convinced by the glaciation theory of Louis Agassiz. ... William Daniel Conybeare (June 7, 1787 - August 12, 1857) was an English geologist and paleontologist. ... this dude has a HUGE nose James Hutton, painted by Abner Lowe. ... Charles Lapworth (September 20, 1842 – March 13, 1920) was an English geologist. ... Charles Lyell The frontispiece from Principles of Geology Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, KT, (November 14, 1797 – February 22, 1875), Scottish lawyer, geologist, and populariser of uniformitarianism. ... Gideon Algernon Mantell (February 3, 1790 – November 10, 1852) was an English obstetrician, geologist and palaeontologist. ... Sir Roderick Murchison Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (February 19, 1792 – October 22, 1871), was an influential Scottish geologist who first described and investigated the Silurian era. ... For other people with this name, see John Phillips John Phillips (December 25, 1800 – April 24, 1874) was an English geologist. ... Adam Sedgwick (March 22nd, 1785–January 27, 1873) was one of the founders of modern geology. ... Nicholas John Shackleton (23rd June 1937 - 24th January 2006) was a geologist specialising in the Quaternary Period. ... William Smith. ...

Awards

The Wollaston Medal is a scientific award for geology, the highest award granted by the Geological Society of London. ...

See also

The British Geological Survey is a publicly-funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... The geologic time scale is used by geologists and other scientists to describe the timing and relationships between events that have occurred during the history of the Earth. ... A coal measure (stratigraphic unit) is the name given to any rock sequence that occurs in the upper part of the Carboniferous System in Europe. ... The Chalk Formations of Europe are thick deposits of chalk, a soft porous white limestone, deposited in a marine environment during the upper Cretaceous Period. ... The London Clay is a marine deposit which is well known for the fossils it contains. ... The Gault Clay is a formation of stiff blue clay deposited in a calm, fairly deep water marine environment during the Lower Cretaceous Period (Upper and Middle Albian). ... Scotland has an incomparable variety of geology for an area of its size. ... Ireland is sometimes known as the Emerald Isle because of its green scenery. ... Geological map of Great Britain. ... Geological map of Great Britain, showing the differing geology of England, Scotland and Wales. ... The Geology of Cheshire consists mainly of Triassic sandstones. ... The Geology of Cornwall (The Cornish peninsula) is mainly comprised of granite. ... Stylised simple Geology map of Dorset Dorset, England, rests on a variety of different rock types which give the county its interesting landscapes and habitats. ... Gloucestershire Gloucestershire is one of the most geologically and scenically diverse counties in England, with rocks from the Precambrian through to the Jurassic represented. ... Hampshires geology falls into two categories. ... The rocks of the English county of Hertfordshire belong to the great shallow syncline known as the London basin, the beds dip in a south-easterly direction towards the synclines lowest point roughly under the River Thames. ... Geological map of Great Britain. ... Geological map of Great Britain. ... The geology of Somerset is very varied, and is reflected in an equally varied landscape. ... This is a list of topics related to the United Kingdom. ... This is a list of natural disasters in the United Kingdom. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Geology of the British Isles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2378 words)
Later, much of the British Isles were submerged in shallow waters as the polar ice sheets melted and the Tethys Ocean and Zechstein Sea formed, depositing shale, limestone, gravel, and marl, before finally receding to leave a flat desert with salt pans.
In the early Tertiary period between 63 and 52 Ma, the last volcanic rocks in the British Isles were formed, with the major eruptions that formed the Antrim Plateau and the basaltic columns of the Giant's Causeway.
Geology of Northern Ireland, Geology of Scotland, Geology of Wales, Geology of England.
British Isles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2887 words)
The British Isles is a geographical and ecological term for the archipelago of islands off the northwest coast of Europe, including Great Britain, (the largest island in the group), the Isle of Man, Ireland, and several thousand smaller adjacent islands.
The geographical term British Isles is not synonymous with the United Kingdom, since it includes the crown dependencies such as the Isle of Man, and (usually) includes the Republic of Ireland.
In 1140 the Hebridean Islands, the Isle of Man and Antrim came under the Norse-Gael rule of the Lord of the Isles who kept a varying degree of independence until the Hebrides were forfeited to Scotland in 1493.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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