Geology of the Aberfoyle district: Information sources

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This topic provides a summary of the geology of the Aberfoyle district – covered by the British Geological Survey. 1:50k geological map sheet 38E (Scotland).
Authors: C W Thomas, A M Aitken, E A Pickett, J R Mendum, E K Hyslop, M G Petterson, D Ball, E Burt, B Chacksfield, N Golledge and G Tanner (BGS).

Further geological information held by the British Geological Survey relevant to the Aberfoyle district is listed below. It includes published maps, memoirs and reports, along with open-file maps and reports. Details of geological information available from the British Geological Survey can be accessed from the BGS Web Home Page at Enquiries concerning geological data for the district should be addressed to: Other sources include borehole records, mine plans, fossils, rock samples, thin sections, hydrogeological data and photographs. Searches of indexes to some of the collections can be made on the Geoscience Data Index (GDI) system in British geological Survey libraries; a more limited of version of the GDI is available via the Web at The GDI is a Geographical Information System application that searches the indexes of British Geological Survey collections and digital databases. Results of the searches are displayed on maps on the screen. The GDI undergoes continuous development, with additional indexes becoming available over time.

Indexes and data available at the time of writing included:

  • Boreholes
  • Topographical backdrops based on 1:250 000 scale maps
  • Outlines of British Geological Survey maps at 1:50 000, 1:10 000 and 1:10 560 scale, including old 6” scale County Series maps
  • British Geological Survey 1:250 000 maps
  • Onshore geochemical sample locations
  • Aeromagnetic and gravity data recording stations
  • Land survey records


Geological maps
1:625 000
Bedrock geology of the United Kingdom: North Map (2007) Quaternary geology: North Sheet (1977)

1:250 000
Argyll Sheet 56N 06W, Solid geology, 1987

1:63 360
Sheet 38 Loch Lomond (1901)

1:50 000
Sheet 38W Ben Lomond Bedrock geology (1987)
Sheet 39W Stirling Bedrock and Superficial geology (1974)
Sheet 30E Glasgow Bedrock and Superficial geology (1993)
Sheet 30W & part 29E Greenock Bedrock geology (1990) Superficial geology (1999)

1:10 000 and 1:10 560
Details of the original geological surveys are given on the 1:50 000 geological sheets. Copies of the fair-drawn maps of these early surveys are available for public reference at the British Geological Survey Library, Edinburgh.

The maps at 1:10 560 (six-inch) scale or 1:10 000 scale covering all or part of 1:50 000 geological sheet 38E (Aberfoyle) are listed below, along with the surveyors’ initials and the dates of the survey. The surveyors were: A M Aitken (AMA), M Armstrong (MA), S Caroll (SC), P M Craig (PMC), D J Fettes (DJF), I H Forsyth (IHF), I H S Hall (IHSH), W G Henderson (WGH), E K Hyslop (EKH), J R Mendum (JRM), M G Petterson (MGP), E A Pickett (EAP), W A Read (WAR), P G W Tanner (PGWT) and C W Thomas (CWT).

The maps are not published, but are available for public consultation in the British Geological Survey libraries in Edinburgh and Keyworth, and can also be consulted at the London Information Office in the Natural History Museum, South Kensington. Copies may be purchased from the British Geological Survey sales desks at Keyworth and Edinburgh. Geophysical maps

1:1 500 000
Colour shaded gravity anomaly map of Britain, Ireland and adjacent areas, 1997 Colour shaded magnetic anomaly map of Britain, Ireland and adjacent areas, 1998

1:250 000
Argyll (Sheet 56N 06W), Aeromagnetic anomaly, 1981; Bouguer gravity anomaly, 1979

1:50 000
Geophysical information maps (GIM) are available on a plot-on-demand basis for all 1:50 000 scale geological sheets in the United Kingdom. These summarise graphically the publicly available geophysical information held for each 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 for easy visualisation of important anomalies
  • Location of local geophysical surveys
  • Location of public domain seismic reflection and refraction surveys, and the location of deep boreholes which have geophysical logs

Geochemical atlases
1:250 000
Regional geochemical atlas: Argyll, 1990. Point-source geochemical data processed to generate a smooth continuous surface presented as an atlas of small-scale colour-classified digital maps. 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 of Scotland 1995


The various memoirs, books, reports and papers relevant to the Aberfoyle district are listed in the reference section. British Geological Survey Technical reports and other reports are not widely available, but may be purchased from the British Geological Survey or consulted at the British Geological Survey and other libraries.

British Geological Survey Technical Reports by Pickett (1997)[1], Hyslop and Pickett (1998)[2] and (Hyslop 1998)[2]. Further information on Midland Valley rocks of the Aberfoyle and surrounding areas can be found in reports by Browne et al. (1996), Paterson and Hall (1986)[3] and Phillips and Aitken (1998)[4]. General descriptions of Midland Valley rocks which outcrop in the Aberfoyle district are presented in memoirs for the surrounding districts of Stirling (Francis et al., 1970[5]), Glasgow (Hall et al., 1998[6]) and Greenock (Paterson et al., 1990[7]). Information on the Quaternary geology of the district and surrounding areas can be found in a report by Browne and McMillan (1989)[8]. An assessment of sand and gravel resources in the eastern part of the Aberfoyle district and adjacent area can be found in a report by Merrit and Laxton (1982).

Documentary collections[edit]

Borehole and site investigations record collection
Collections of records of borehole and site investigations relevant to the Aberfoyle district are available for consultation at the British Geological Survey, Edinburgh where copies of most records can be purchased. The collection consists of the sites and logs of about 160 boreholes. Index information, including site references, for these boreholes have been digitised. The logs are either hand-written or typed and many of the older records are drillers’ logs.

There are records of hydrogeological (water boreholes), geochemical (stream sediment and other analyses), gravity and magnetic, and seismic (earthquake) data held at BGS, Edinburgh.

Material collections[edit]

British Geological Survey photographs
Some 97 photographs illustrating aspects of the geology of the Aberfoyle district are deposited for reference in the libraries at BGS, Edinburgh, Keyworth and in the London Information Office. The photographs depict details of the various rocks exposed and also some general views. A list of titles can be supplied on request. Petrological collections

The petrological collection for the Aberfoyle district consists of about 450 rock specimens and thin sections. Information on databases of rock sample, thin sections and geochemical analyses can be obtained from the Mineralogy and Petrology Section, BGS, Edinburgh.

Palaeontological collections
There are palaeontological collections from about 20 sites in the district. A database of fossil samples is available from the Curator, Palaeontology Section, BGS Edinburgh.


  1. Pickett, E A. 1997. An introduction to the Green Beds of the Southern Highland Group of the Scottish Dalradian: previous research and an account of preliminary work carried out in 1997. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WA/97/92.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hyslop, E K, and Pickett, E A. 1998. A preliminary study of the petrology of the Green Beds and associated rocks from the Southern Highland Group of the Scottish Dalradian. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WG/98/07.
  3. Paterson, I B, and Hall, I H S. 1986. Lithostratigraphy of the late Devonian and early Carboniferous rocks in the Midland Valley of Scotland. Report of the British Geological Survey, No. 18/3. (London: HMSO for the British Geological Survey.)
  4. Phillips, E R, and Aitken, A M. 1998. The petrology and composition of the Lower Old Red Sandstone exposed in the Aberfoyle area (Sheet 38E), central Scotland. British Geological Survey Technical Report, WG/98/10.
  5. Francis, E H, Forsyth, I H, Read, W A, and Armstrong, M. 1970. The geology of the Stirling district.Memoir of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, Sheet 39 (Scotland).
  6. Hall, I H S, Browne, M A E, and Forsyth, I H. 1998. Geology of the Glasgow district. Memoir of the British Geological Survey, Sheet 30E (Scotland).
  7. Paterson, I B, Hall, I H S, and Stephenson, D. 1990. Geology of the Greenock district. Memoir of the British Geological Survey, Sheet 30 and part of 29E (Scotland).
  8. Browne, M A E, and Mcmillan, A A. 1989. Quaternary geology of the Clyde Valley. British Geological Survey Research Report, SA/89/001.

Geology of the Aberfoyle district - contents[edit]