Geology in Aberdeenshire under the microscope at Portsoy

Portsoy has a huge variety of metamorphic rock formations and is set on a Scottish coastline that’s renowned for its geology – making it an excellent base for groups interested in discovering the Metamorphism of Buchan.

Outstanding geology can be found in a section exposing the famed Buchan Metamorphic Zone between Macduff and Portsoy.

The progression from largely unmetamorphosed turbidites to high-temperature metamorphism including partial melting can be observed in the local area. This facies was caused by a rapid increase in temperature but a relatively small increase in pressure.

Characteristic minerals include andalusite, biotite and cordierite. It’s a type of metamorphism that usually occurs in ‘extensional’ settings such as a rift basin – and it’s ripe for discovery in this part of Aberdeenshire.

Portsoy’s Salmon Bothy has launched an interactive showcase dedicated to the region’s geology. Created with the support of the Geology Department at Aberdeen University, it’s a display of rocks and minerals unique to this stretch of the Aberdeenshire coastal area.

Dr Anne McArthur, Chair of the Salmon Bothy Committee said, “We welcome geology students who undertake field work in the vicinity of Portsoy because it lies on the Huntly to Portsoy Shear Zone, an area of particular geological interest. Stones that we may pass by everyday are in fact quite rare and are found only in a few other parts of Scotland, or indeed worldwide.

“We’ve captured the essence of this in the Salmon Bothy Museum’s new interactive exhibition. For group tutorials, we can offer Upstairs at the Salmon Bothy, built in 1834 and with natural stone walls that makes for an atmospheric learning environment.

“We’re next to a caravan and park site, and also close to The Sail Loft self catering hostel that makes the perfect base for field trips or special interest stays. This is a modern and comfortable 25 bed modern hostel right next to the sea and beautiful rolling countryside, the perfect backdrop to inspire studies.

“For leisure time, there’s great range of activities nearby, from surfing, stand up paddle boarding, cycle hire, to walks, distillery tours, and trips to visitors attractions like the Macduff Aquarium, the Scottish Lighthouse Museum at Fraserburgh or the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay.”

Dougie Vipond

For more details in how we can help you scope out a geology field trip to Aberdeenshire, get in touch at download the leaflet here