There have been a number of recent papers on ‘giant dykes’, i.e. dykes exceeding 100 km in length. This paper extends the known length of the Tertiary (Palaeogene) Cleveland Dyke (CD) by about 64 km, giving a total proven length of c. 260 km. The results of a detailed investigation using ground magnetic surveys have discovered 26 additional exposures in southern Scotland, allowing magnetic, petrographic and geochemical measurements and magnetic modelling to be carried out, resulting in one of the most detailed studies of a ‘giant’ dyke.
The structure of the CD complex in the Southern Uplands of SW Scotland has been influenced by pre-existing structures, in particular faults and granitic intrusions. It is chemically heterogeneous without systematic trend along its length. This heterogeneity, plus segmentation along strike, numerous offsets, in particular one of 5 km along the Water of Ken, en-échelon structure, narrow width at many localities (2.3–0.8 m) with lack of baking of adjacent country rocks, all argue strongly against lateral intrusion from the Mull intrusive complex, as has been proposed. Instead, aeromagnetic surveys and wide-angle seismic and gravity surveys make it probable that the dyke relates to a regional magma reservoir beneath the Southern Uplands.