International recognition for Berwickshire landmark

A geological landmark in Berwickshire has made it into the world’s ‘rock’ hall of fame.
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Siccar Point is a rocky promontory in the parish of Cockburnspath.

The site has now joined many of the planet’s most famous landmarks, including Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon and Sugar Loaf Mountain, after being included in a list of the First 100 Geological Heritage Sites, complied by the International Union of Geological Sciences.

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It has been recognised for possessing ‘significant global scientific relevance’, and making a ‘substantial contribution to the development of geological knowledge’.

Siccar Point.Siccar Point.
Siccar Point.

Siccar Point has been inspiring researchers for centuries and is widely recognised as one of the most important geological sites in the world

In 1788, the ‘father of geology’, James Hutton, described it as an ‘example of angular unconformity – a junction between two sets of rocks of different ages’.

Hutton’s studies of such formations revolutionised science, providing a unique glimpse into the great cycles in the earth’s history.

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Professor Robert Holdsworth, chair of the Scottish Geology Trust, has welcomed the recognition of both Siccar Point and the Moine Thrust Zone, a linear tectonic feature in the north-west Highlands.

He said: “There is a very strong argument that says the science of geology came into being from observations first made in Scotland.

“These places where mankind made gigantic conceptual leaps forward in our understanding of earth processes and the passage of geological time.

“Such extraordinary and visually captivating localities are an inspiration to current and future geo-scientists worldwide and are the centrepiece of what makes the rocks of Scotland so special.”

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