SCIENTISTS say a study of rocks in the north-west Highlands has provided evidence of a previously unknown ice age, shedding new light on Earth’s evolution.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen and uncovered evidence of debris dropped from melting icebergs in lakes when analysed rocks in the Torridon area.

The rocks date from the period known as the Boring Billion which took place from 1800 to 800 million years ago. The term is used by geologists to describe what was thought to be a relatively calm period in Earth’s evolution, with little climatic upheaval.

The National: Liathach ridge, Torridon

Professor Adrian Hartley led the study, published in the Scottish Journal of Geologym, along with colleagues from the university’s School of Geosciences.

He said: “We made the discovery by analysing silty lake sediments that are a billion years old. It’s the first evidence globally for glaciation at this time in Earth’s history – proving it wasn’t such a Boring Billion after all.”

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