Teindland – Ardwell Bridge – Cabrach – Clatt – Huntly. Day 7. Excursion to the Banffshire Coast

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Unpublished report prepared for the Edinburgh Geological Society Excursion to the Banffshire Coast. 14th – 21st May, 2005. Leaders: John Mendum, Douglas Fettes, David Stephenson and David Gould (British Geological Survey)

Teindland Quarry [NJ 298 570][edit]

(Figure 44; Plate 33)

Park on verge some 30 m N of pit (Care!). The small pit exposes a palaeosol that age dating and pollen studies have shown to date from the last Interglacial (Ipswichian) some 125,000 years ago. The faces at back show sandy layers, overlain by iron pan, and the humic podzol with charcoal. A thin bleached sand layer and sandy diamictons overlie the palaeosol.

Ardwell Bridge [NJ 378 308][edit]

(Plate 34)

Limited parking available outside telephone exchange on southeast side of bridge over the Black Water. Section through pillowed metabasalt lavas 10-20 m west of bride. Best examples on small cliff overhanging stream. Interbanded with graphitic pelites.

Upper Cabrach [NJ 421 955][edit]

Drive south through Kirktown of Cabrach on the A 941 but at top of the hill turn right onto the B 9002 towards Craig. Stop a few hundred metres along the road to see the view eastwards over the Insch plain. The topography is controlled by the lithologies of the Insch and Boganclogh mafic-ultramafic plutons and the adjacent hornfelsed Southern Highland and Argyll group rocks.

Clatt [NJ 551 244][edit]

(Figure 46)

Park at disused quarry that exposes serpentinite (formerly harzburgite), locally strongly sheared, which lies at the southern margin of the Insch pluton. The knife-sharp thrust contact with the overlying syenite is exposed. A small steeply westerly dipping normal fault displaces the thrust contact by some 2.5 m. There is a lack of structural evidence of movement on the thrust plane itself

Hill of Johnston [NJ 570 246][edit]

(Figure 46; Plate 35)

Park at base of quarry by the Clatt-Leslie road. Poor exposures in disused quarry show syenitic, monzonitic and ferrogabbroic Upper Zone lithologies of the Insch Pluton. Good examples of the syenogabbro can be found in boulders by the farm track just to the northwest.


Huntly may be visited on the return and a possible stop may be made at the peregrine watch at the Bin Quarry (see Figure 45).

Selected bibliography

At all times follow: The Scottish Access Codeand Code of conduct for geological field work