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Siccar Point, Scotland
Scotland should hold a place of reverence in the heart of everyone who works in the Geosciences. Another of Scotland’s geologic gems; this outcrop literally led to the science of geology. This is the famous outcrop at Siccar Point, where James Hutton first put together the idea of geologic time as incredibly long, as having “that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end”.
This outcrop is a classic example of an angular unconformity. Hutton reasoned that the formation of this outcrop required immense amounts of time, geologic time. The rocks in the lower layer were deposited as sediments, lithified, tilted, and eroded over immense time. After that, an entire new package of rocks was deposited on top. Out in the world we can see snapshots of some of these processes; rocks being tilted by faulting, sediments being deposited, rocks being eroded after uplift, but they all take enormous amounts of time. This outcrop simply can’t be formed quickly by any rapid process.
Today’s election results will be available in a blink of an eye compared to the time represented by this outcrop, but the legacy of both will endure.
Image credit: Anne Burgess
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Solar energy that doesn’t block the view
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