Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay
The British Isles were assembled by the collision of proto-North America, a microplate called Avalonia, and Baltica, the ancestral core of Europe. The rocks of the Scottis Highlands were an ideal place to trace the physical and chemical changes that take place during metamorphism. Later it was close enough to the initial breakup of North America from Eurasia to contain volcanic and intrusive relics of that event as well. Also, the Scottish Highlands were the nucleus of a Pleistocene ice cap that spread over most of the British Isles and also merged with the Scandinavian ice cap. This was a natural laboratory for early geologists to begin unraveling the history of the earth,since so many events and archetypical structures are contained in such a small area.
Created 7 April 2003, Last Update 09 June 2020