Long Durational Natural Phenomenon

Existence of The Isle of Skye

Duration: Approximately 4.6 Billion Years

Text via Alison Roberts and Chris Broughton
Cover photograph CC BY-NC 2.0 SwaloPhoto

Photograph CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 N4n0 

The Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebridean Islands with an area of 3000 square kilometers. The northern part of the island is formed from volcanic activity, represented by the lava flows that dominate the landscape. Basaltic columns are a popular feature here and can be seen at Kilt Rock. Macleod’s Tables display the flat topography formed by the lava flows. Skye’s volcanic activity occurred during the Cenozoic Period (previously known as the Tertiary Period) and is associated with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean 60 million years ago.

The oldest rock found on Skye is the Lewisian Gneiss which dates back to the Precambrian when it was formed from the metamorphism of older rocks. The oldest sedimentary rock is the Torridonian Sandstone. Many of the geological units which crop out on Skye can be seen in the Northwest Highlands. These include the Applecross Formation and Diabaig Formation of the Torridon Group, the False-bedded Quartzite Member, the Pipe Rock Member of the Eriboll Sandstone Formation, the Fucoid Beds Member, the Salterella Grit Member, and the Ghrudaidh Formation of the An t-Sron Formation.

To read more about The Isle of Skye, click here.