Letter | Published:

The Carving of Valleys

Naturevolume 20pages504505 (1879) | Download Citation



IN the course of a recent visit to Loch Maree, I observed an interesting geological phenomenon in a glen on the east side of the loch, which is traversed in ascending Ben Slioch, from Kinlochewe, and which is called, I understand, Glen Beansdale. This glen, in its lower part at least, follows the line of division between the “fundamental gneiss,” which rises in a gradual slope on the north side, and the “Cambrian sandstone,” which on the soutli side forms a fine cliff, terminating at the base in a long steep “débris line.” The stream, which is of considerable size, originally ran close to the foot of this cliff until it reached the wide valley which contains the loch; but at some period a large “bergfall” of rocks from the sandstone cliff has dammed up the original bed, and diverted the stream into a new course, diagonally across the gentle slopes of gneiss, which previously formed the north side of the glen. This new course is marked, first, by a small depression or gully in the flow of the glen, and secondly, in the middle of this, by a narrow ravine with vertical sides, just wide enough to contain the stream which foams at the bottom.

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