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Classic Papers

Episodes 2001; 24(3): 194-200

Published online September 1, 2001


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Charles Lapworth's "The Moffat Series", 1878

Beryl Hamilton

Kirk Road New Galloway Dumfries and Galloway DG7 3RS UNITED KINGDOM

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The investigation of the geology of the Southern Uplands, which form the border region between Scotland and England, has played an important role in the history of geological research, from the time of Hutton, through the nineteenth century, and to the present. The 1878 paper, the 'Moffat Series' by Charles Lapworth (see Figure 1) was a major part in the development of the understanding of the geology of the area. Dealing with a region of complex deformation, he worked out the biostratigraphy and structure, using a hitherto largely neglected fossil group, the graptolites. Twenty-one years after its publication, the history of research of this area included in the Memoir published by the Geological Survey in 1899, stated that: '[t]he publication of this [Moffat] paper marks an epoch in the history of the Silurian Geology of the South of Scotland. It remains the greatest and most original contribution to the study of the life-sequence and structural relations of these highly convoluted rocks'.