Geology and Landforms
The landform of the Moray Firth was shaped over millions of years by the effects of earth movements, glaciation, sedimentation, marine erosion and deposition. Rich fossil deposits within Devonian rocks form the bedrock of much of the area give important insights into the development of fish and amphibians. Younger Triassic rocks have revealed early reptiles.
The Great Glen fault line bisects the area, which gave rise to the world-famous Loch Ness and crosses the country to Fort William in the west. This reveals a diverse underlying geology including Sandstones, Moine Schists and granites. In the Middle Devonian period an extensive fresh water lake 'Lake Orcadie' covered the area, giving rise to the organic deposits which resulted in the North Sea oil fields.
Glacial deposits cover much of the hinterland and provide the fertile agricultural soils, sands and gravels. The actions of the sea and rivers have further shaped the area, with spectacular spits, sand bars and dune systems.