The Kilt Rock, Skye - an excursion

From Earthwise
Jump to navigation Jump to search
From: Bell, B.R. and Harris, J.W. An excursion guide to the geology of the Isle of Skye : Geological Society of Glasgow, 1986. © 1986 B.R. Bell & J.W. Harris. All rights reserved.
Figure 33 Excursion 19 The Loch Cuithir Diatomite deposits and Kilt Rock, location map

Excursion 20 The Kilt Rock (Figure 33)[edit]

Purpose: A scenic viewpoint to show the relationship between a columnar-jointed dolerite sill and Middle Jurassic strata.

Aspects covered: an olivine dolerite sill (the 'Kilt Rock'); Middle Jurassic sedimentary rocks.

Route: Scenic viewpoint at Loch Mealt.

Distance: 200m.

Time: 15 minutes.

General comments: A road-side scenic viewpoint which may be incorporated into Excursions 17, 18, 19, 21, or 22.

Located between Portree and Staffin on the main (A855) coastal road, this scenic viewpoint shows clearly the relationship between a member of the north Skye Sill Complex (9H) and Middle Jurassic strata (2F). Loch Mealt is 5km (3 miles) south of Staffin and 24km (15 miles) north of Portree. Ample parking for cars, minibuses and coaches is available on the east side of the road at the scenic viewpoint. Proceed to the scenic viewpoint at the cliff top.

Locality 1 [NG 5086 6554][edit]

To the north, beyond the Mealt Waterfall, flat-lying Middle Jurassic strata of the Valtos Sandstone Formation (2F) are sandwiched between two olivine dolerite sills (9H): one forming the uppermost part of the cliff, whilst the other crops out at sea-level. The almost-vertical columnar jointing within the upper sill gives rise to the name 'Kilt Rock', in reference to the similarities with pleats in a kilt. To the south, similar relationships can be seen, although in this case the lower sill forms the middle portion of the cliff-face.

Return to the road.


Appendix 1: Glossary of petrological names and terms[edit]

Appendix 2: Glossary of fossil names[edit]

Appendix 3: Glossary of place names and grid references[edit]

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