Geography of Scotland
Although the Scotland is a relatively small country, with a surface of 78.772 km ², its geography is it very varied, energy of the rural Lowlands to the desert Highlands, and of the big cities in the uninhabited islands.
Scotland belongs to the the United Kingdom, located in Western Europe. It is consisted of the northern third of the island of Great Britain and a great number of small islands. The continental part of Scotland is localized between the northern 54°38' and 58°40'; the the Shetland are located close to the 61°, and between 1°46' and 6°13' western; and Saint-Kilda with western 8°30'.
Scotland divides its only land borders with the England, this border traverses 96 km between the River Tweed on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. The island of Ireland is distant from approximately 30 km of the south-western end of Scotland, and the Norway is to approximately 400 km in the North-East. Scotland is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the the North Sea.
Physical geographyScotland covers a territory of 78 772 km ², which is equivalent about to 30 % of that of the United Kingdom as a whole. The coasts of the not-islander part of Scotland cover 9 911 km.
The Géomorphologie of Scotland was formed by the action of the tectonic plates, then by erosion resulting from the glaciation. The principal division of Scotland is the Fault line of Highlands which separates the territory between the Highlands in north and the west, and the Lowlands in the south and the east. Highlands are mainly mountainous, and constitute the highlands of the United Kingdom: they are separated by the Great Glen between the Monts Grampian in south-east and the Highlands from the North-West. Lowlands they, are cut out between the Southern Uplands, an extent of undulating arable lands and covered hills of heather, and the arable lands of the Central Belt and is of Scotland.
GeologyScotland has a very strong geological diversity for a territory of this size. It is also at the origin of many significant discoveries which marked the development of geology.
The oldest rocks of Scotland are the Gneiss lewisiens, which date from the Précambrien, i.e. of there is more than three billion years. They are among the oldest rocks of the world. During Precambrian, the sandstone torridonien and the Moine were also formed. Then sedimentary deposits were created during the Cambrien, some of them metamorphosing in series of the Dalradien. The territory which was going to become Scotland was at that time close to the south pole.
For the period of the Silurien (443-416 million years before J-C), the territory which was going to become Scotland belonged to the continent Laurentia. On the other side of the Ocean Iapetus, in the south, was the continent Baltica. The two continents gradually ran up, uniting Scotland with what was going to become England and Europe. This event is known like the orogenesis calédonienne, and the fault line of Highlands marks today this junction between the two continents. Rocks siluriennes form the high-grounds of the south of Scotland ( Southern Uplands ), which were upwards thorough since the oceanic bottom by the collision. It was the same for the highlands, which, at the time, were undoubtedly as high as the the current Alps. The old men red sandstones (Old Red Sandstones) settled in the low zones for this period. Following this collision of tectonic plates, Scotland recorded a volcanic activity, with volcanos with the south and magmatic rooms in north, which form granitic mountains today like the Cairngorms.
For the period of the Carboniferous (355-295 million years before J-C), Scotland extended close to the equator. Several changes of the sea level took place at that time. The deposit of Coal of the Lanarkshire, and other sedimentary deposits go back to this time. The volcanic activity formed, among other hills, the head office of Arthur ( Arthur' S Seat ) with Edinburgh. Until the Sorted, Scotland was a desert, at the origin of vast sandstone outcrops in south-west. Although vast deposits of rocks of the Crétacé would have taken place through Scotland, they did not survive erosion, contrary to the Craie of England.
Until the period of the Tertiary , the tectonic plates continued their movements, dividing between current the North America and Europe with the creation of the Atlantic Ocean. The crack took place in the west of Scotland, leaving a chain of old sites of volcanic activity through the Hébrides, including/understanding Skye and Saint-Kilda. It was the last period of formation of rocks in Scotland. Consequently, several ages of ice formed the territory by the glacial erosion, creating glaciated valleys and depositing rocks Argile use. Today, Scotland continues to move slowly towards north.
ClimateThe climate of Scotland moderate east , and tends to being very variable. It is heated by the Gulf Stream of the Atlantic Ocean, and is as hot as in the other zones under the same latitudes such as for example Oslo in Norway. However, the temperatures are generally lower than in the remainder of the United Kingdom, and can reach them (- 27,2 °C) recorded with Braemar in the Grampians, the January 10th 1982 and also with Altnaharra in the Highlands, the December 30th 1995. The winter maximum averages are of 6°C in the lowlands , and of 18°C the summer. The highest recorded temperature was of 32,9°C with Greycrook in the Scottish Borders the August 9th 2003. In a general way, the west of Scotland is hotter than is, thanks to the influence of the Atlantic currents and the lower temperatures of the the North Sea.
Just as in the remainder of the United Kingdom, the wind is dominating in the west, bringing a humid air and hot of the Atlantic. Precipitations are very variable through Scotland. The highlands in the west constitute the wettest place of the United Kingdom, with annual precipitations higher than 3 000 Misters In comparison, most of Scotland receives less 800 mm per annum, and the areas of the east and the south do not know precipitations higher than those of the driest areas of England. In fact, is of Scotland extends to the " shade of the pluie" uplands in the west. The snowfalls are not current in the lowlands, but become more frequent with altitude. Braemar knows a 59 days average of snow per annum, while the averages of the coastal regions are lower than 10 days.
The zones more in the west of the Hébrides belong to the sunniest places of the United Kingdom. 329 hours of sun were recorded with Tiree in May 1946 and again in May 1975. Lerwick in the the Shetland, has approximately four hours of sunning moreover than London in the middle of the summer, but knows the contrary phenomenon with the winter solstice. However, there is no complete darkness in the north of Scotland to the Solstice of winter.
The highlands have an ecosystem of the alpine type. One finds at certain places of the remainders of old the Forêt calédonienne, dominated by woodland pines of origin.
Extreme pointsThe most extreme points of the Scottish continent are:
- In the east: Keith Inch, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
- In the south: Mull off Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway
- In the west: Corrachadh Mor, peninsula of Ardnamurchan, Lochaber
The most extreme points of Scotland, by including the external islands, are:
- In the east: Bound Skerry, Out Skerries, the Shetland
- In the south: Mull off Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway
- In the west: That is to say Rockall (annexed in 1972 with old the Inverness-shire), with the discussed international statute, or Soay, Saint-Kilda, Hébrides external
The ten plus high mountains of Scotland are also ten higher of the United Kingdom. All the mounts Scot superiors with 914 m are known like the Munro S, Sir Hugh Munro having been the first to index them.
- Ben Nevis 1344 m
- Ben Macdhui 1310 m
- Braeriach 1296 m
- Cairn Toul 1291 m
- Sgor year Lochain Uaine 1258 m
- Cairn Gorm 1244 m
- Aonach Beag 1234 m
- Càrn Mor Dearg 1220 m
- Aonach Mòr 1218 m
- Ben Lawers 1214 m
LittoralThe Scottish continent has 9 911 km of coasts. By including the many islands one reaches 16 490 km. The west coast in particular is very cut out, with long headlands separated by Fjord S like Loch S from sea. The east coast is more regular, with a series of large estuaries, or Firth S, and long sand beaches, such as for example with Aberdeen.
The firths of Scotland are in particular those of Solway Firth, Firth off Clyde, and Firth off Lorne on the west coast, and Cromarty Firth, Moray Firth, Firth off Tay, and Firth off Forth on the east coast. The Pentland Firth is not a bay, but the Détroit which separates the the Orkneys from the Scottish continent.
The largest logs at sea are those of Loch Fyne, Long Loch, Loch Ryan, Loch Linnhe, Loch Torridon, Loch Ewe, and on the island of Lewis, Loch Seaforth.
See also: List of the islands of Scotland
Scotland counts nearly 790 islands, mainly located at broad of the west coast. It are divided into four great groups:
- the the Shetland, the zone more in north of Scotland
- the the Orkneys, between the Shetland and the Scottish continent
- the Hébrides interior, including/understanding Skye, the island of Mull, the Small Isles , and several other islands and groups of islands.
- the Hébrides external, so known under the name of Western Isles , or Eilean Siar in Scottish, in the west of Hébrides interior, and separated from them by The Minch .
The vastest islands of Scotland are:
Lewis and Harris 859.19 km ²
- Skye 643.28 km ²
- the Shetland Mainland 373.36 km ²
- Mull 347.21 km ²
- Islay 246.64 km ²
- principal Island of the Orkneys 206.99 km ²
- Arran 168.08 km ²
- the Jura 142.99 km ²
- North Uist 135.71 km ²
- South Uist 128.36 km ²
Cours d' waterThe ten principal rivers Scottish, by order length are:
- To rivet Tay 193 km
- To rivet Spey 172 km
- To rivet Clyde 171 km
- To rivet Tweed 156 km
- To rivet Dee 137 km
- To rivet Gift 132 km
- To rivet Forth 105 km
- To rivet Findhorn 101 km
- To rivet Deveron 98 km
- To rivet Annan 79 km
LogsThe lakes of Fresh water in Scotland are commonly called Loch S, except some which profit from name lakes ; largest among the latter being the Lake off Menteith .
- Log Lomond 71.1 km ², more the big lake of fresh water of the United Kingdom.
- Log Born 56.4 km ²
- Log Awe 38.5 km ²
- Log Tide 28.6 km ²
- Log Morar 26.7 km ²
- Log Tay 26.4 km ²
- Log Shin 22.5 km ²
- Log Shiel 19.6 km ²
- Log Rannoch 19.1 km ²
- Log Ericht 18.7 km ²
See also: Demography of Scotland
With the Census of April 2001, Scotland counted 5.062.011 inhabitants, constituting thus a little less than 10% of the population of the United Kingdom. The population density is approximately 64 people per square kilometer. The great majority lives in the Central Belt , the band of plain which includes/understands the towns of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the coast ranging between Dundee and Edinburgh. Only Aberdeen represents a center of important settlement apart from this zone. In Highlands, the population scattered and is isolated in small towns, villages and farms or crofts .
Approximately 95 of the Scottish islands are inhabited; the most populated is Lewis, with 16.782 inhabitants in 2001, mainly concentrated with Stornoway, the only city of Hébrides. The population of certain small islands can go down to only one inhabitant.
The capital of Scotland east Edinburgh. The population of the six towns of Scotland to the census of 2001 is:
- Edinburgh: 430.082
- Aberdeen: 184.788
- Dundee : 154.674
- Inverness : 40.949
- Stirling: 32.673
Whereas towns of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Stirling are in growth, the number of inhabitants of Glasgow and Dundee falls, respectively of 4,74% and 2,73% between 1991 and 2001. The population of Edinburgh increased by 7,13% during the same period, and that of Stirling of 9,36%. With the variation of the cities, the principal rises of population take place in the counties of West Lothian, East Lothian, and Perth and Kinross. Na h-Eileanan Siar (the Western Isles ) knew a fall of 10,47% of its population these ten last years.
See also: Political system of Scotland
The surface of the Scottish territory is overall that which was defined in 1237 by the Traité of York between Scotland and England and by the Traité of Perth of 1266 between Scotland and Norway. Exceptions include/understand island of Man, which is today a Possession of the British crown independent of the United Kingdom, the Orkneys and the Shetland which are from now on Scottish and either Norwegian, and Berwick-upon-Tweed which was subjected to the English laws by the Wales and Berwick Act of 1746. Independent country in the beginning, Scotland became officially part of the the United Kingdom in 1707 by the Acte of Union, which has dissolves the Parlement of Scotland.
Like leaves constitutive of the United Kingdom, Scotland is represented by deputies with the Parlement of the United Kingdom of Westminster to London. In 1997 a referendum was carried out which led to the establishment of a Scottish Parlement in Edinburgh. This new Parliament exclusively has authority on the problems relating to Scotland and a relative capacity on the Income tax. The Parliament of the United Kingdom preserves its prerogatives as regards defense, International relations and in some other fields.
Scotland was traditionally divided into 33 counties, to which people always refer in spite of the official disappearance of those. For the territorial Administration, Scotland is divided in 32 districts. They were established in 1995 to replace the old system of areas.
See also: Economy of Scotland
The Gross domestic product (GDP) of Scotland east of 90 billion dollars (75 billion euros), corresponding to a GDP per capita of 18.000 dollars (15 000 euros). The principal sectors of the Scottish economy are the Banque and the finance departments, the Acier, the transport facilities, the Pétrole and the Natural gas, the Whiskey and the Tourisme.
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