Death of an Ocean

A Geological Borders Ballad

By Brian Upton, Euan Clarkson

The Scottish Borders region is famed for its frontier history and its myths and ballads. This book - now available in paperback - concerns the much more ancient geological history revealed by its rocks. The authors tell how the once great ocean of Iapetus met its end through the inexorable motion of the tectonic plates that brought continental masses on a collision course. The impact of these continents spelled the death-knell for Iapetus and, in so doing, brought about an intense folding and uplift of huge quantities of ocean floor sediment to form the mighty Caledonide mountain chain. These momentous events brought the essential building blocks of Scotland into their final positions. After attaining their maximum grandeur, the Caledonide mountains were progressively eroded to become shadows of their former glory. Meanwhile, the unified tectonic plate on which Scotland sits proceeded to drift northwards. In so doing, 'ancestral Scotland' migrated from the southern hemisphere, across the equator to ultimately reach its present temperate position. The rocks of the Scottish Borders record much of the Palaeozoic history of the ocean closing, the building and subsequent breakdown of the mountains, as well as of the history of the deserts, rivers, and forests that came and went on its northerly migration. The book also looks at volcanoes, large and small, and how their existence is indelibly recorded in the Borders hills while the latest geological events to sculpt the Borders landscape were of the Pleistocene ice-ages. Written in the accessible style, this volume describes a differing geological history in Scotland. [Subject: Earth Science, Geology]


224 pages

Publication Date: 12/5/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781780460345