A 4D view of the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man has been built over 500 million years of geological history with the Island’s topography resulting from erosion of the different rocks by ice, rivers and the sea. This map allows us to easily see two of the major faults (which are lines of ancient earthquakes) which are a feature of the geology of the Island; the Central Valley, connecting Douglas and Peel, and the northern escarpment which runs between Kirk Michael and Ramsey.

The panels of colour on this map show areas of different types of rock on the surface of the Isle of Man which have been used to work out what happens at depth. Cutting a slice through the Island we can see that the rocks are sloping towards the west. Rocks that were once laid down flat have been up-ended by tremendous geological forces that have shunted the rocks together along faults. If we use a different image of the Island we can see how this movement has occurred over geological time

420 million years ago the Island began to take shape. Large panels of rock were shunted together along faults when the continent of North America collided with Europe. Later, during the Carboniferous period, 350 million years ago, the area was partly pulled apart again when a different type of fault developed. Finally, 60 million years ago, when North America rifted apart from Europe forming the North Atlantic Ocean, the crust was split apart by deep fissures that tapped magma from the molten interior of the earth.