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Unconformity, Berwickshire

The importance of this strange-looking set of rock layers in Scotland was first understood by James Hutton around 1750. He realised that the set of rock layers beneath the line must have once been deposited as horizontal layers of sediment which were later steeply tilted and uplifted.

During a long period of erosion they were “planed off” by the sea, and new layers of sediment, that now form the rock layers above the line, were laid down. Later still, all of these rock layers were tilted and uplifted once more, and yet more erosion has revealed the rocks as we now see them.

Hutton realised that all these processes must have taken a very long time, far longer than the “Biblical age” of the Earth that most people believed in at the time.

Unconformity, Siccar Point, Berwickshire

Unconformity, Siccar Point, Berwickshire
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