preglacial landscapes

glacial landscapes

postglacial landscapes



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Looking north on south Walls and Hoy. Image by Alan Moar.


Sister sites

cairngorm landscapes

caithness landscapes

shetland landscapes





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About this site

This site looks at the physical landscapes of Orkney. A great deal of material is available that deals with the natural history of the islands but the level of awareness concerning the geology and geomorphology is often limited. There is so much that we know and do not know about the origins of this classic landscape. A very good introduction is provided by the SNH/BGS booklet on the Orkney and Shetland in the Landscapes Fashioned by Geology series ISBN 1 85397 220 7  For the specialist, the Quaternary Research Association Field Guide is a must-have.

The site was launched at the Orkney International Science Festival in 2005. It has been developed by Adrian Hall (landforms), John Brown (geology) and Jan den Blaauwen (fossils). The air photos are courtesy of Alan Moar. Initially, the content will be at an introductory level but it is intended to extend and deepen the content through time. Comments about content are welcome and offers of new or improved content are doubly so. Offers should be directed to


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You are welcome to copy material from this site for non-commercial use provided that you acknowledge its source or link to this site. Some material here, both text and photos, is not our own and this cannot be copied without the permission of its intellectual property owner.

Bibliographic reference

Last update 14-Dec-2013

Hall, Adrian and Brown, John Orkney Landscapes [online] [Edinburgh, Scotland] September 2005, updated as per date above

Available from World Wide Web: <>.