acrylic on canvas,
80cm x 60cm,
Iain White, 2016
This work is a view at dusk along the western shore towards the head of Loch Eribol and its continuation south southwest in Strath Beag, This long narrow sea loch and the valley beyond both follow the line of what became known as the Moine Thrust Zone running from the north coast of Sutherland here south southwest to Skye. To the west of this line lie the unmetamorphosed (unaltered by heat and pressure) rocks of the Palaeozoic sediments of Cambrio-Ordovician age, while to the east above are the metamorphosed Moine Schists.
Historically, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was the relationship between these two groups of rocks that fuelled what came to be known as the “Highland Controversy” in Geological circles. The eventual resolution of this controversy in NW Sutherland had profound implications for structural geology. Here in this expressionistic work the angle of the thrust plane is emphasised by the Cambrian quartzites (in relief) piled up by reverse faults above it.