Glasgow's geology

Bedrock geology

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The lower Clyde valley and estuary is underlain by sedimentary and igneous/volcanic rocks of mainly Carboniferous age (about 300–400 million years old).

The sedimentary rocks were laid down in a variety of semi-arid to tropical conditions and contain widespread deposits of coal and ironstone and limestone — all extensively mined and quarried. The intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks have also been quarried, chiefly for hardrock aggregate used in road building.

Superficial deposits

The overlying 'unconsolidated' Quaternary deposits consist of a complex succession of glacial tills (boulder clay), interbedded with sands and gravels, clays and silts and peat, mainly representing the last 30 000 years of recent Ice Age history. The sands and gravels and clays and silts were laid down in and around melting ice, and in post-glacial rivers, deltas, lakes and the sea.

These deposits have provided major resources of sand, gravel and brick clay that have been extensively quarried.

Cartoon of how the IceSheet would have looked in Glasgow


Please contact Helen Fallas or Fiona Fordyce for further information on CUSP.