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Migmatites of Sutherland

Highland geology
Detail of Watson's caricature of herself in the field, 1946. (LDGSL/1078/B/2). Click to enlarge.  

In 1946, reflecting his own interests and area of expertise, H H Read sent the undergraduate Janet Watson to study the migmatites of Sutherland on the west coast of Scotland.

The research – in which she suggested that the development of the mineral sillimanite that was abundant in the area had no direct connection to the conditions of regional metamorphism, but was instead due to later hydrothermal alteration – resulted in Watson’s first published paper, “Late Sillimanite in the migmatites of Kildonan, Sutherland” (1948).

Watson's field note book, 1946. (LDGSL/1078/B/1). Click to enlarge.   Watson's field sketch book, 1946. (LDGSL/1078/B/2). Click to enlarge.

The two volumes above are Watson's field and sketch books from her work in west Sutherland between 3 July and 17 September 1946. The careful, meticulous drawings in her sketch book are typical of Watson's methodology.

The post-war austerity of the period is illustrated by field book on the left, being written on an old school exercise book that belonged to her older sister Mary, the pages from her ‘Music Appreciation’ lessons having been torn out.

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