Lecture: The NW Highlands Controversy: Geology, geologists and social climbing in Victorian times

Speaker: Dr. Peter Gutteridge, Visiting Lecturer university of Manchester

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: Book via Eventbrite to access on Zoom

Date and Time

19:00 -


Virtual Talk via Zoom

Lecture Description

The NW Highlands of Scotland probably has the best scenery and geology in the world. You can find the oldest rocks in the British Isles, the first evidence of life, ancient landscapes carved out by preCambrian rivers and beautifully exposed Lower Palaeozoic clastic and carbonate sediments. These all form part of a major fold and thrust belt on which the metamorphosed Moine schists were emplaced.

However, geologist Roderick Impy Murchison saw this as a conformable succession. It is worth asking the question, why did Victorian geologists so completely miss evidence that is so obvious to geologists today? The answers lie in the state of geological science at the time, geopolitics and social climbing. Resolution of the Moine thrust controversy was a turning point in the history of geology gave us the foundations of the science of geology as we now know it.

About Dr. Peter Gutteridge

  • Carbonate specialist recently retired from a consulting work for oil companies all over the world, currently continuing with carbonate research as a visiting academic at Manchester University.
  • Interested in the Moine thrust controversy since I was an undergraduate at Leeds University.