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3 January 2018

An odd mystery rock from Shetland

Any readers have any idea what this strange rock is? It’s got wild patterns! These samples were in the garden of a local rockhound in Lerwick; I have zero idea what the mineralogy is; I was just stunned by the “scale-like” pattern of gray and pink. I’d be eager to hear your ideas what this might be. Thanks very much in advance!


3 May 2017

Storm beaches have I loved

The answer to yesterday’s geo-puzzle is revealed to be a storm deposit of boulders, 20 m above sea level!


3 March 2017

Friday fold: Kink folded Dalradian metasediments

Let’s reminisce back to the Walls Boundary Fault on the Ollaberry Peninsula of Shetland today. Here’s a 3D model to go along with the ones I posted last time: It’s a little ragged, but so am I at the end of the workweek! Happy Friday. Have fun spinning this thing.


2 March 2017

A virtual field trip to the Grind of the Navir

On the northwestern coast of the Northmavine Peninsula of Shetland, there is an unusual coastal landform: a gate-like entrance to an elevated amphitheater, like something out of Tolkien, and a storm beach of slab-like boulders inland of that.


1 February 2017

An oddball at Eshaness

In eastern Shetland, the sea chews away at the innards of a Devonian stratovolcano. But there’s an odd visitor there too – and we’re not talking about the blogger.


26 January 2017

Dore Holm

The scenic arch of Dore Holm (“Door Island”) in Shetland shows off the most efficient way of breaking a slab of rock. The island’s shape is a reflection of the parsimonious nature of natural deformation.


7 October 2016

Friday folds: Dalradian schists at St. Ninian’s Isle

Remember St. Ninian’s Isle? It is connected to Mainland Shetland by a tombolo. But it has rocks there, too. Here are some outcrops on the beach: If you visit these schisty fins, you’ll find they are populated by a cavalcade of small folds. Some of the folds are crisp things known as kink bands: Annotated version: And finally, as a lagniappe, here’s a bit of boudinage. This quartz vein has …


7 July 2016

Tombolo at St. Ninian’s Isle, Shetland

I came to Shetland for the rocks – but I’ve been surprised and delighted by the huge range of interesting coastal geomorphology to be seen here too. I’ve never seen so many sea stacks, wave-cut cliffs, and bayhead bars in my life. One that is so “classic,” so “textbook” that I couldn’t resist it, is the tombolo that connects St. Ninian’s Isle to mainland Shetland. In Google maps, it couldn’t …