Geology

Isle of ArranWildlife
Drumadoon Point

Drumadoon Point, Blackwaterfoot - a volcanic sill.

On a field trip in August 1787 Arran's remarkable variety of rocks and geological structures was noticed by the eminent Edinburgh physician Dr. James Hutton and eventually inspired him to write a geological thesis that was to have as profound an effect on society as Charles Darwin's "origin of the Species". Hutton (who never practised medicine) is known as the Father of Geology. He formulated the uniformitarian theory of geology, which suggested that such processes as sedimentation, volcanism, and erosion cause changes in the surface of the earth and have been (and still are) operating in the same manner and at the same rate over a very long period of time.

Thus, he proposed that the earth was much older than had been previously thought, arousing strong opposition from those who believed in James Usher's biblical chronology published in 1650, which stated that the world was created in 4004 BC. Hutton’s most important discovery on Arran was an unconformity near Lochranza.

Hutton's Unconformity

Hutton's Unconformity; gently dipping carboniferous or old red sandstone overlaying steeply dipping Dalradian schist.

We'd like to say that Hutton stayed at the Blackwaterfoot Lodge, but it wasn't built then. However, we're sure that he would've if he could've.

Arran is a Mecca for geology students and most geologists will fondly remember having experienced at least one field trip to the island during their career, usually during the colder months. If you visited Arran as a geology student you’ll be pleased to know that the geology hasn’t changed much since you were here, and not much else has either - a good reason to come back. The Blackwaterfoot Lodge is especially "Geologist friendly".

King's Cave

King's Cave, Machrie – sea caves formed when the sea level was higher, at the end of the last ice-age.

Isle of ArranWildlife