Great Glen

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General map of Scotland
(→ topographic map )
The Great Glen Way (red) along the Caledonian Canal in the Great Glen
Right-handed sense of movement of the Great Glen blade warp

Great Glen (English; German "Great Valley" from Scottish Gaelic gleann mòr ), also called Glen More , is a tectonic fault (Great Glen Fault) that runs through the middle of Scotland and the Scottish Highlands into the Grampian Mountains and the Northwest Divided into highlands . The fault is seismically active. There are several earthquakes with magnitude 4 on the Richter scale every century .

Most of the valley floor is covered by three elongated lakes: Loch Lochy to the west , Loch Oich in the middle and Loch Ness to the east - the most famous Scottish lake . The watershed is between Loch Lochy and Loch Oich : Loch Oich flows through the River Oich into Loch Ness , which in turn is connected by the River Ness to the eastern bay of the Moray Firth . At its mouth is Inverness , the capital of the Highland administrative district . The water from Loch Lochy , on the other hand, flows in a westerly direction and flows into the Loch Linnhe estuary at Fort William . The fault continues southwest into Ireland and follows Lough Foyle , Donegal Bay and Galway Bay . It forms a submarine canyon in the Irish continental shelf.

In the Great Glen runs the Caledonian Canal , which - parallel to the rivers - connects the lakes of the Great Glen with the adjoining sea bays Moray Firth and Loch Linnhe and thus enables an east-west ship passage across the British mainland . The moat was of great strategic importance for the control of the Scottish Highland clans , for example during the Jacobite revolts in the 18th century.

There were a number of tectonic movements from the Middle Carboniferous to the early Tertiary . The leaf displacement moved left and right and shifted over 130 km. Vertical movements have lifted and eroded the northwest edge. Friction and pressure created a 1.6 km wide zone of broken rocks. The Great Glen Fault as it is today created the Great Glen Glacier, which eroded the soft rubble at the fault. He left behind a steep trough valley .


  • Renate and Achim Kostrzewa: Scotland with England and Wales . In: Travel Guide Nature . BLV Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-405-14509-0 , p. 199 .