Rock drilling 'threatens' Scotland's geology
Published: 27th Jul 2012 11:23:57
Irresponsible drilling of holes into rocks to extract samples threaten to "annihilate" geological features in Scotland, a public body has warned.
Rock coring is done for research of rocks' chemical make up and investigations into how the earth's magnetic field has changed.
When carried out properly, the visual impact is minimal.
However, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said there was growing concern about poor practice at sensitive sites.
Writing in Geoscientist Online, SNH geologist Colin MacFadyen said guidance set out in the 1989 Code of Conduct for Rock Coring and also the Scottish Core Code were being ignored.
He said examples of irresponsible drilling included holes drilled into the Sandwick Fish Bed near Stromness, on Orkney.
In the Geological Society's magazine, Mr MacFadyen said: "Worryingly, there are reports from around the world, including one from Scotland, of small scale geological structures not only being defaced, but having been annihilated by coring.
"It is not just geoscientists who are becoming alarmed at the level of irresponsible core sampling, as the cumulative effects of this otherwise efficient sampling method are becoming increasingly apparent to even the most casual observers.
"Irresponsible coring is tarnishing the reputation of geological science as well as damaging exposure, with the general public experiencing defaced outcrop in every setting imaginable - remote beaches and islands, mountain tops, and, lamentably, classic geological sections within statutory protected areas."
Mr MacFadyen's concerns add to previous warnings about the condition of Scotland's geology, fossils and soils.
Last year, tonnes of rock were disturbed at a Jurassic site on Skye in what was described as one of Scotland's most reckless acts of fossil collecting.
SNH said rock was dug away from cliffs near Bearreraig Bay in an apparent organised search for valuable specimens.
Dinosaur footprints were also have been removed from Valtos, also on the island.
Skye is a key dinosaur fossil site in Scotland.
Bearreraig Bay, north of Portree, is within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). A crowbar was suspected to have been used to prise away some of the rock.
The State of Scotland's Soils, a report published last year, suggested planning authorities should better understand the role of soils in storing carbon and do more to protect prime farm land.
The document's contributors included public agencies and scientists.
Soils support agricultural businesses worth £700m to the Scottish economy, according to the report.
However, it said the use of increasingly heavy farm machinery and how they compact soils posed a potential threat that was not fully understood in Scotland.
Other key threats to the quality of soils identified in the report included the effects of climate change.
Rainfall and temperatures influence the richness of organic matters - such as plants - in soils, the report said.
At 14:04:54 in SportEssex coach Paul Grayson wants the wicket used in the One-Day Cup loss to Leicestershire to be put out of action.
At 14:03:24 in SportCrystal Palace have signed former Fulham defender Brede Hangeland on a free transfer.
At 14:02:09 in EnglandAbout 40kg (88lb) of cocaine has been seized by Border Force officers at Dover, from a cargo ship loaded with bananas.
At 14:00:12 in EnglandThe governor of a prison in Devon has been moved, the Prison Service says.
At 13:59:54 in EnglandPolice investigating allegations of historical child abuse are probing activities at a former school in Cumbria.
At 13:57:17 in EnglandA group filmed swinging a dog by the lead around its neck are being sought by police.
At 13:56:01 in EnglandA couple in their sixties who made fake bomb detectors and sold them in the Middle East has been convicted of fraud.
At 13:55:03 in BusinessThe US economy added 209,000 jobs in July adding to optimism that the US economy is roaring once more.
At 13:51:35 in EnglandAn anti-hate crime campaign in memory of two murdered teenagers has been launched across Merseyside.
At 13:50:44 in EnglandMore than 130 birds have died from avian botulism in parks across Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Staffordshire, the RSPCA has said.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Rock drilling 'threatens' Scotland's geology [Online] (Updated 27th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1443056/Rock-drilling-threatens-Scotlands-geology [Accessed 1st Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
The US economy added 209,000 jobs in July adding to optimism that the US economy is roaring once more.
A two-year-old boy has died after he was hit by a van in County Tipperary.
A 1929 silent film has been voted the greatest ever documentary in a poll of some 300 film-makers and critics.
Ed Miliband has been criticised by the UK statistics watchdog over his claim that "four out of five" new jobs were being created in London.
About 40kg (88lb) of cocaine has been seized by Border Force officers at Dover, from a cargo ship loaded with bananas.
Essex coach Paul Grayson wants the wicket used in the One-Day Cup loss to Leicestershire to be put out of action.