Book review: Excursion guide to the geology of East Sutherland and Caithness, by Nigel Trewin and Andrew Hurst

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Jon Trevelyan (UK)

The Caithness area of Scotland is important for its geology, but is also well known for its palaeontology. The Caithness Flagstones are famous for fossil fish and the Helmsdale Fault is famous for the Helmsdale Boulder Beds deposit, beside an active submarine fault scarp. The area even once had its own ‘gold rush’ and you can still try your luck at panning there today at Kildonan. The area is also popular with the oil industry as an onshore analogue for several offshore oilfield reservoirs.

This book provides excellent locality excursions to all of these sites, covering the Devonian Old Red Sandstone, with its world-famous, fossil fish faunas and the Jurassic rocks along the coast from Helmsdale to Golspie, including the famous fossil coral reef. In addition to the locations, the authors provide an overview of the geology of East Sutherland and Caithness. This guide updates 1993 edition and includes new material. It is copiously illustrated with colour photographs and diagrams.

Both authors, Nigel Trewin and Andrew Hurst, are professors of geology at Aberdeen University and have published many research papers on the geology and fossils of the area. They have also led many field excursions to the area for university classes, the oil industry and for geological societies.

For anyone interested in geology and visiting this area of Scotland, the book is very useful particularly because, for a long time, it has been out of print and there have been no such guides to the area. Now, once again, this superb book is your geological guide to the area.

Excursion guide to the geology of East Sutherland and Caithness, by Nigel Trewin and Andrew Hurst, Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, Edinburgh (2009), 183 pages (paperback), ISBN: 978-1906716011

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