Local Rocks

Within easy reach of Glasgow there lies a rich variety of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. These rocks were laid down during a period of over 500 million years, starting in the Neoproterozoic period (1000 to 541 Ma) and finishing in the Triassic period (252 Ma to 201 Ma).

(A chronostratigraphic chart describing the internationally agreed geological time scale can be found on the International Commission on Stratigraphy website.)

The map shows the varied geology of the extended Glasgow area with a key to the colours and numbering used. You can view information about the rock cycle, minerals and types of rock from the links below the map and use the markers on the map to find out about each of twelve selected sites in the area. The site information is also accessible from the links in the sites list at the bottom of the page.

Minerals, Rocks & Fossils

Rock-forming Minerals

A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid with an orderly crystalline structure and a well-defined chemical composition.

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The Rock Cycle

The rock cycle is a process in which rocks are continuously transformed between the three rock types igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

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Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks are formed when molten material from within the Earth, called magma, cools down and solidifies forming crystals.

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Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary rocks are formed by the consolidation of sediments which settle out of water, ice or air and are accumulated on the Earth's surface.

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Metamorphic Rocks

Metamorphic rocks are formed when pre-existing rocks are altered by high pressure, high temperature, or a combination of the two.

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Scottish Fossils

Scottish fossils are very varied, reflecting the different tectonic settings that Scotland has experienced throughout geologic time.

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Selected Sites

Central Belt

Sedimentary and volcanic rocks of Lower Carboniferous age and evidence for the Campsie Fault.

Find out about the many glacially deposited hills upon which much of the city was built.

A basalt plug which is the only remaining evidence of the volcano which existed on this site 330-340 million years ago.

Beautifully preserved fossil tree stumps and roots from the Carboniferous period in Glasgow’s Victoria park.

Explore the geology of some of the remarkable monuments in this cemetery. The architecture, sculpture, views and stories continue to fascinate visitors.

Remains of a fossil sea cliff

History, nature and geology can be enjoyed at this site.

Sedimentary rocks from the Carboniferous period and evidence of the Quaternary glaciation.

A popular short walk with remarkable geomorphology and views.

Loch Lomond Area

The relationships between the Dalradian block and the Midland Valley; details of the structure and stratigraphy of the Highland Border Complex; recumbent folding in Upper Dalradian rocks.

Stratigraphy and sedimentation of the Lower and Upper Devonian; the angular unconformity which separates them.

The Highland Boundary Fault separates the Highlands from the Lowlands with metamorphic rocks to the north and sedimentary rocks to the south.

Ayrshire & Arran

An association of serpentenite, chert and pillow lavas that represents an ophiolite suite.

Succession of Carboniferous rock types and junctions of the Carboniferous with the Devonian and the Permian.

A Palaeogene quartz-feldspar-porphyry sill displaying massive columnar jointing, with members of the Palaeogene dyke swarm.

A large deeply-eroded volcanic vent of Lower Carboniferous age.

Dalradian schists, Hutton's classic unconformity and Permian sandstones and breccias.