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Columnar sandstone, Island of Bute, Scotland

  • D. S. Buist (a1)


A unique columnar sandstone, produced by the thermal metamorphism of an Upper Old Red quartz arenite, is described, from South Bute, together with other examples of similarly altered sediments from nature and industry. The columnar structure probably developed as a result of the emplacement of a basic dyke via a fissure. In view of the relatively large area exhibiting this structure, metamorphic effects must have been amplified by the agency of steam and volatile constituents of the magma, passing up through the fissure.



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Buist, D. S. 1976. Columnar sandstone, South Bute. Trans. Butesh. nat. Hist. Soc. 20, 91–5.
Cope, F. W. 1976. Geology explained in the Peak District. Newton Abbot, London and North Pomfret (T), Vancouver: David and Charles.
De la Bêche, H. T. 1833. Geological Manual, 3rd ed., pp. 471–2.
Geikie, J. 1940. Structural and Field Geology (revised edition by Campbell, R. & Craig, R. M.), p. 149. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd.
Glen, D. C. 1877. Notes from the Island of Bute. On a tract of columnar sandstone and a perched boulder near Kilchattan. Trans. geol. Soc. Glasg. 5, 154–7.
McCallien, W. J. 1939. The rocks of Bute. Trans. Butesh. nat. Hist. Soc. 12, 84112.
Macculoch, J. 1829. On a prismatic structure in sandstone induced by artificial heat; and on certain prismatic rocks found in nature, including the columnar sandstone of Dunbar. Q. Jl Sci. 2, 247–65.
Thomson, J. 1882. On the jointed prismatic structure in basaltic rocks. Trans. geol. Soc. Glasg. 6, 110.
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Geological Magazine
  • ISSN: 0016-7568
  • EISSN: 1469-5081
  • URL: /core/journals/geological-magazine
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