Scotland's rocks, landforms and soils
For a small country, Scotland has a remarkable diversity of rocks, fossils, landforms and soils. This geodiversity is the result of a rich and varied geological history, spanning some 3 billion years of the Earth's existence. It forms an Earth heritage asset of national and international importance.
Scotland's geodiversity illustrates a wonderful story of how colliding continents, ancient volcanoes, powerful glaciers and changing climates have shaped the landscape and scenery we value today; how different life-forms have evolved and how rivers, landslides, floods and sea-level changes are continuing to alter the land surface. Scotland's rocks, fossils landforms and soils have played an important part in our understanding of the Earth. They also form the foundation upon which plants, animals and people live and interact.
Find out what the term 'geodiversity' means.
Discover your local geodiversity with our 'Landscape Fashioned by Geology' series.
There are 5 distinct foundation blocks that make up Scotland's rich geological history and incredibly diverse geology.
Fossils are the remains or traces of an ancient animal or plant preserved in rock.
Over the last 2.6 million years, the Ice Age glaciers carved and moulded many of the landforms that we see today.
Scotland's spectacular and varied coastline makes up 8% of Europe's coast.
Scottish rivers and burns can be truly wild! Even in our cities they are a reminder of the power of nature.
Landslides range in size from spectacular whole mountain side rock slope failures to small scale 'soil creep'.
Assynt is the only place in Scotland where karst is a significant feature of the landscape.
Think of soils as the vital, active interface between biodiversity, geodiversity, the atmosphere, water and the human environment.
A brief introduction to the Earth's history and the geological timescale developed to interpret it.
Last updated on Friday 18th March 2011 at 15:42 PM. Click here to comment on this page