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Mountain building in Scotland

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Some of Britain's most dramatic scenery is to be found in the Scottish Highlands. The sight of mighty Ben Nevis, the desolate plateau of the Cairngorms, or the imposing landscapes of Glen Coe can unleash the call of the wild in all of us. Although these landforms were largely carved by glacial activity that ended some 10,000 years ago, the rocks themselves tell of a much older history. The Highlands are merely eroded stumps of a much higher range of ancient mountains. This free course, Mountain building in Scotland, is an account of the origin and demise of that ancient mountain range, based on the geological evidence laid before us in rock exposures.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the geological history of the Scottish Highlands
  • give examples of igneous, metamorphic and structurally complex rocks.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 30 hours
  • Updated Wednesday 2nd March 2016
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Geology
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Mountain building in Scotland


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The course gives a brief outline of the geological history of the Scottish Highlands. It offers the opportunity to study igneous, metamorphic and structurally complex rocks, indicating their natural settings in Scotland: the deformed rocks of the Dalradian basin, the Caledonian granites, and the Highland Border Complex. The materials are presented as a series of PDFs. Each file represents a section of the book. If you wish to purchase a copy of Mountain building in Scotland please contact Open University Worldwide [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in Science.

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