Earth Science Photo of the Day..!!!13/12/2011

The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy

PhotographerStu Witmer   
Summary Author
Stu Witmer
The Parallel Roads of Scotland’s Glen Roy were not built by the PictsRomansfairies or even space aliens. As a matter of fact, they weren’t built by anyone at all. It took quite some time, and many wrong explanations to arrive at the reality of their creation.
Back in the 18th century, as the science of geology began to emerge from the mists of myths, such luminaries asThomas PennantJames HuttonCharles Lyell and Charles Darwin all offered opinions about the origin of theParallel Roads. Most of these centered on the idea that they were ancient seashores perhaps related to Noah’s flood.Louis Agassiz, however, had a different theory: that the earth had historically been shrouded in huge ice sheets. This clearly applied to Switzerland where plenty of glaciers remained but no glaciers currently existed in Scotland. With the assistance of William BucklandAgassiz analyzed the similarities in the Scottish landscape, and specifically the Parallel Roads, with that of Switzerland and uncovered significant proof of glaciations in Glen Roy. He concluded that the Parallel Roads were once shorelines of an ice-dammed glacial lake. This proved to be true and his theory became firmly established in the science of geology.


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