As this is the week before the semester starts it is field trip week for many Edinburgh students. I’m on the Helmsdale geology field trip with the new 3rd-year of the geophysics degree. Not, I hasten to add, because I know much geology. I’m really here to ensure that we don’t have a single point of failure for driving. Unlike some of my colleagues I regard driving for a trip on which I’m not really teaching as a perk rather than a chore. The splendid weather is making it seem very perk-like indeed; the real geologists assure me that I am getting a very rose-tinted view of field courses. So here are a few pictures of rocks in the very sunny, far, far North of Scotland.
Day 1: Ousdale quarry. The rocks (and there are some in there) are Devonian, the bilberries delicious, the sunshine delightful, the midges and ticks darned annoying.
Day 2: Up to Wick to see the Caithness flags. That really is a lot of laminations.
Day three, and we jump from Devonian to Jurassic. (There isn’t any Carboniferous in these here parts; Triassic and Permian are south of the Moray firth and have to wait until we are on the way home. ) This big white chunk of sandstone is one of the earliest bits of the Jurassic that we see on this trip. But are those fractures or bedding?