OR/15/026 Sources of information

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Gunn, A G, Mendum, J R and Thomas, C W. 2015. Geology of the Huntly and Turriff Districts. Sheet description for the 1:50 000 geological sheets 86W (Huntly) and 86E (Turriff) (Scotland). British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/15/026.

Further geological information held by the British Geological Survey relevant to the Huntly and Turriff districts is listed below. It includes published material in the form of maps, memoirs and reports and unpublished maps and reports. Also included are other sources of data held by BGS in a number of collections, including borehole records, mine plans, fossils, rock samples, thin sections, hydrogeological data and photographs.

Searches of indexes to many of the collections can be made on the GeoIndex system at http://www.bgs.ac.uk.

This computer-based system undertakes searches of indexes to collections, digital databases and to digital versions of the geology and geophysics of the UK at various scales. Searches can be specified for particular geographical areas. The results of the searches are displayed as on-screen maps. At the present time (2014) the following themes are available:

  • Borehole records
  • Water wells
  • Site investigation reports
  • Drillcore
  • Samples, including registered petrographical, palaeontological and geochemical samples
  • Stream sediment geochemistry
  • Geophysical logs
  • Topography
  • Outlines of BGS maps at 1:50 000 and 1:10 000 scale and 1:10 560 scale County Series Aeromagnetic and gravity data recording stations
  • Various land survey records

Details of geological information available from the British Geological Survey can be accessed via the BGS Web Home Page at http://www.bgs.ac.uk.

BGS maps

Geology maps

1:625 000
United Kingdom (North Sheet) Bedrock Geology, 2007 Quaternary Geology, 1977

1:250 000
Moray Buchan (Sheet 57N 04W) Solid geology, 1977

1:63 360
Sheet 86 (Huntly) Solid and Drift Editions, 1923

1:50 000
Sheet 86W (Huntly) Solid Edition, 2000
Sheet 86E (Turriff) Solid and Drift Edition, 1995

1:10 000 and 1:10 560
Details of the original geological surveys are listed on editions of the 1:63 360 geological sheets. Copies of the fair-drawn maps of these earlier surveys may be consulted at the BGS Library, Edinburgh.

The maps at six-inch or 1:10 000 scale covering wholly or in part in the 1:50 000 scale Sheet 86 are listed below, together with the surveyors’ initials and the dates of the survey. The surveyors were: M J Brown (MJB), T P Fletcher (TPF), D Gould (DG), A G Gunn (AGG), J R Mendum (JRM), S D Redwood (SDR), D Stephenson (DS) and C W Thomas (CWT). Only partial revision of the Huntly and Turriff districts was undertaken during the recent mapping programme, work being concentrated on Sheet 86W (Huntly), particularly the mafic and ultramafic igneous intrusions. The Huntly and Knock intrusions were mapped by S J Redwood, A G Gunn and M J Brown. They also undertook a detailed geochemical and petrological study together with M T Styles. S J Redwood also mapped the Dalradian rocks around the southern end of the Huntly intrusion, whereas D J Fettes and C W Thomas undertook mapping in Clashindarroch Forest in the south- west corner of the sheet. The Dalradian rocks to the west and south-west of the Huntly intrusion were mapped by J R Mendum and D Stephenson. C W Thomas undertook mainly reconnaissance mapping of the Southern Highland Group in the Turriff district (Sheet 86E) and mapped along the northern margin of the Insch intrusion in Strathbogie and in the Slate Hills. The Fyvie Gorge was mapped in greater detail, as were some other small areas where bedrock exposure is above average.

The maps are not published but scanned images and paper copies are available for consultation in the Libraries at BGS Edinburgh, and BGS Keyworth, and at the BGS London Information Office in the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Paper copies can be printed on demand and purchased from the Sales Desk. As only local reconnaissance traverses were carried out in the Turriff district (Sheet 86E), except for the Fyvie Gorge, the bulk of the geology is based on the original surveys by H H Read and others.

Map Geologist Map name Date
NJ4NW DS Glass 1993
NJ43NE AGG Wellheads 1996
NJ43SW DS Grumack Hill 1993
NJ43SE CWT Clashindarroch Forest 1993
NJ44NW DS Cairds Hill 1994
NJ44NE MJB The Balloch 1996
NJ44SW DS Davidston 1993
NJ44SE MJB, AGG Drumdelgie 1996
NJ45NW FM 1961
NJ45NE DG Aultmore 1998
NJ45SW DS Keith 1993
NJ45SE DS Grange 1996
NJ53NW SDR, CWT Huntly South 1996
NJ53NE SDR Thomastown 1996
NJ53SW CWT Gartly 1993
NJ53SE CWT Gartly Moor 1993
NJ54NW AGG, SDR Ruthven–Milltown 1996
NJ54NE SDR Fourman Hill 1996
NJ54SW AGG, SDR Huntly North 1996
NJ54SE SDR Lessendrum 1996
NJ55NW JRM Edingight 1996 (solid), 1998 (drift)
NJ55NE JRM Ordiquhill 1996 (solid), 1998 (drift)
NJ55SW SDR, JRM Knock 1996
NJ55SE SDR Crombie 1996
NJ63SW CWT Hill of Foudland 1993
NJ65NW DG, TPF Hill of Ord 1997
NJ65NE TPF Stonieley 1997
NJ73NE CWT Fyvie 1992

Geophysical maps 1:1 500 000

Colour shaded relief gravity anomaly map of Britain, Ireland and adjacent areas, 1997 Colour shaded relief magnetic anomaly map of Britain, Ireland, 1998

1:625 000
United Kingdom (North Sheet) Aeromagnetic anomaly, 1972; Bouguer anomaly, 2007; Regional gravity, 1981

1:250 000
Moray Buchan (Sheet 57N 04W) Aeromagnetic anomaly, 1978; Bouguer gravity anomaly, 1977

1:50 000
Geophysical information maps; these are plot-on-demand maps which summarise graphically the publicly available geophysical information held for the sheet in the BGS databases. Features include:

  • Regional gravity data: Bouguer anomaly contours and location of observations.
  • Regional aeromagnetic data: total field anomaly contours and location of digitised data points along flight lines.
  • Gravity and magnetic fields plotted on the same base map at 1:50 000 scale to show correlation between anomalies.
  • Separate colour contour plots of gravity and magnetic fields at 1:125 000 scale for easy visualisation of important anomalies.
  • Location of local geophysical surveys.
  • Location of public domain seismic reflection and refraction surveys.
  • Location of deep boreholes and those with geophysical logs.

Geochemical atlases

1:250 000
In the Huntly and Turriff districts steam sediment and water samples were collected from first and second order streams in the late 1970s, coverage averaging 1 sample per 1.6 km2. Stream sediment samples were analysed for 30 elements and the water samples for acidity, conductivity, bicarbonate, fluoride and uranium content. Point-source geochemical data processed to generate a smooth continuous surface presented as an atlas of small-scale colour-classified digital maps. The data from the Huntly and Turriff districts are included within the Regional Geochemistry of the East Grampians area, published by the Geological Survey in 1991.

Data from the Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment (G-BASE), formerly the Geochemical Survey Programme, are also available in other forms including hard copy and digital data.

Hydrogeological maps

1:625 000
Sheet 18 (Scotland) 1988.

Groundwater vulnerability (Scotland) 1995.

BGS books and onshore technical and scientific reports

Memoirs, reports and papers relevant to the Huntly and Turriff districts are arranged by topic. Some may be out of print or not widely available, but may be consulted at BGS and other libraries.

General geology

British Regional Geology: The Grampian Highlands, 4th Edition, 1995 Geology of the country around Banff, Huntly and Turriff 1923 Memoir.

The history of geological investigations in the Huntly and Knock mafic-ultramafic intrusions, Grampian Region. BGS Technical Report WA/97/6.


British Geological Survey. 1991. Regional geochemistry of the East Grampian area. (Keyworth, Nottingham: British Geological Survey.) ISBN 0 85272 198 6

Petrology and geochemistry

A new approach to map production and petrogenetic interpretation using petrological databases: an example from the Huntly–Knock intrusions of Aberdeenshire. BGS Technical Report, WG/94/14

A petrological study of ultramafic rocks from the East Grampian region between Ballater and Huntly. BGS Technical Report, WG/94/10

A petrological study of ultramafic rocks from the East Grampian region between Huntly and Portsoy. BGS Technical Report, WG/99/14R

Bulk minerals Peat

Fraser, G K. 1948. Peat deposits of Scotland: Part 1: General account; Part 2: Peat mosses of Aberdeenshire, Banffshire and Morayshire. Wartime Pamphlet, No. 36.

Brick clay

Eyles, V A, and Anderson, J G C. 1946. Brick clays of north-east Scotland. Wartime Pamphlet, No. 47.

Sand and gravel

Peacock, J D, Clark, G C, May, F, Mendum, J R, Ross, D L, and Ruckley, A E. 1977. Sand and Gravel resources of the Grampian region. Report of the Institute of Geological Sciences, 77/2.

Merritt, J W, Auton, C A, Connell, E R, Hall, A M, and Peacock, J D. 2003. Cenozoic geology and landscape evolution of north-east Scotland. Memoir of the British Geological Survey, Sheets 66E, 67, 76E, 86E, 87W, 87E, 95, 96W, 96E and 97 (Scotland). Edinburgh: British Geological Survey.


Richey, J E, and Anderson, J G C. 1944. Scottish Slates. Wartime Pamphlet, No. 40.

Walsh, J A. 2000. Scottish Slate Quarries. Technical Advice Note: 21. Historic Scotland, Edinburgh.

Walsh, J A. 2008. Macduff Slate: Extraction and testing of slate from the Hill of Foudland, Aberdeenshire. Research Report, Historic Scotland, Edinburgh.


Robins, N S. 1989. Groundwater Potential of the Devonian Sandstone in the Turriff Basin: Phase 2. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WD/89/7.

Robins N S. 1990. Groundwater Development in the Rhynie Outlier. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WD/90/2

Ball, D F, and MacDonald A M. 1997. Scottish Rural Water Supplies: The Role of Groundwater. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WD/97/41.

Metalliferous minerals

Exploration for stratabound mineralisation in Middle Dalradian rocks near Huntly, Grampian Region, Scotland. Mineral Reconnaissance Programme Report, British Geological Survey, No. 87.

Platinum-group elements in the ultramafic rocks of the Upper Deveron Valley, near Huntly, Aberdeenshire. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WF/90/9 [BGS Mineral Reconnaissance Programme Report 115].

Platinum-group elements in the Huntly intrusion, Aberdeenshire, north-east Scotland. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WF/92/4 [BGS Mineral Reconnaissance Programme Report 124].

Exploration for stratabound mineralisation in the Argyll group (Dalradian) of north-east Scotland. British Geological Survey Mineral Reconnaissance Programme Report, No, 145

Data arising from drilling investigations of the Knock intrusion at Claymires, north-east Scotland. Mineral Reconnaissance Programme, Open-File Report, 9.

Documentary collections

Borehole record collection

BGS holds collections of records of boreholes, which can be consulted at BGS, Edinburgh, where copies of most records may be purchased. For the Huntly district there are records of the sites and logs of about 270 boreholes and for the Turriff district for some 41 boreholes. Index information, which includes site references, for these bores has been digitised. The logs have been digitised but original hand-written or typed paper copies are archived. Note that many of the older borehole records are drillers’ logs.

Site exploration reports

This collection consists of site exploration reports carried out mainly to investigate foundation conditions prior to construction. There is a digital index and the reports themselves are held on microfiche. For the Huntly and Turriff districts there are about 18 reports.

Mineral exploration data

Numerous maps and plans relating to mineral exploration activities over the Huntly and Knock intrusions are held at BGS, Edinburgh

Hydrogeological data

Records of water boreholes are held at BGS, Edinburgh. In total there are records of 46 boreholes linked to water supplies in the Huntly and Turriff districts.

Geochemical data

Records of stream-sediment and other analyses are held at BGS, Keyworth.

Gravity and magnetic data

Records are held at BGS, Edinburgh. These include regional survey data and digitised records of the aeromagnetic survey flown by EVL in 1970.

Seismic data

Records of earthquakes are held at BGS, Edinburgh.

Material collections

Geological survey photographs

Photographs illustrating aspects of the geology of the Huntly and Turriff districts are deposited for reference in the archives mainly at BGS, Edinburgh with some at BGS Keyworth. The photographs depict details of the various rocks exposed either naturally or in excavations and also some general views.

Petrological collections

The petrological collections for the Huntly and Turriff districts consist of over 2100 samples. Most samples are of the mafic-ultramafic intrusive rocks in the district: there are 1635 thin sections from the Huntly district, mostly from the mafic-ultramafic rocks. In contrast only 29 rocks have been thin-sectioned from the Turriff district. Information on databases of thin sections can be obtained from the Mineralogy and Petrology Section, BGS, Edinburgh. Numerous reference hand specimens from the East Grampian Project and the Mineral Reconnaissance Programme are also held at BGS in Edinburgh and Keyworth.

Bore core collection

Samples have been collected from core taken from boreholes. Continuous core is available from 21 boreholes drilled by BGS during the East Grampian Project and Mineral Reconnaissance Project, and from four boreholes drilled by Exploration Ventures Limited.

Palaeontological collections

There are about 60 specimens containing fossil material from the Huntly and Turriff districts in the BGS palaeontological collections. These include specimens from the Old Red Sandstone outliers and the Jurassic erratics in the Banffshire Coast Drift Group at Plaidy, and of ?Cretaceous chalk flints from the Buchan Gravels Formation.

Collections held outwith BGS

Sites of Special Scientific Interest are the responsibility of Scottish Natural Heritage, Great Glen House, Leachkin Road, Inverness, IV3 8NW.

Contact addresses

British Geological Survey
Murchison House
West Mains Road
Edinburgh EH9 3LA
Telephone: 0131 667 1000
Fax: 0131 668 2683

British Geological Survey (Headquarters)
Environmental Science Centre
Nottingham, NG12 5GG
Telephone: 0115 936 3100
Fax: 0115 936 3200

And at

London Information Office (BGS)
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
South Kensington
London SW7 5BD
Tel: 020 7589 4090, 020 7942 5344/5
Fax: 020 7584

BGS web site: http://www.bgs.ac.uk