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Geology of Shetland

Back Sand, Ollaberry Back Sand, OllaberryZoomWe can think of Shetland as a giant geological ‘jigsaw’ consisting of four huge blocks of the Earth’s surface known as terranes. Assembly of the ‘jigsaw’ took hundreds of millions of years and each piece had a different geological history before they all came together. As we explore Shetland’s amazing geo-diversity we see how it relates to other parts of the globe. Three of the jigsaw pieces that occur in Shetland also form northern Scotland. Two of these formed the roots of a vast mountain chain of Himalayan proportions which formed about 420 million years ago during an event known as the Caledonian Orogeny. The remains of these mountains have been identified in western Norway, eastern Greenland, Scotland, Northern Ireland and eastern North America.