Arthur's Seat, Calton Hill, Edinburgh - an excursion

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Arthur's Seat, Calton Hill, Edinburgh[edit]

By G P Black. From: Lothian geology: an excursion guide. Edited by A D McAdam and E N K Clarkson. 1996

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh - introduction

BGS 1:50 000 Geological Survey of Scotland map. Bedrock

BGS 1:50 000 Geological Survey of Scotland map. Bedrock and Superficial

BGS 1:25 000 series - Classical areas of British geology Edinburgh District



The Calton Hill succession may be easily followed by ascending the steps at the east end of Waterloo Place (NT 261 741) and proceeding eastwards over the hill.


32. Calton Hill: Lavas and Ashes[edit]

Oblique aerial view of Calton Hill and the Arthur's Seat volcano, looking from the north-west. Calton Hill is a faulted fragment of the Arthur's Seat volcano lavas and tuffs. Glaciation from the west has left the crag-and-tail feature formed by the hard crag of Calton Hill Rock and the tail of Royal Terrace stretching eastwards. P001324

At the base of the succession alternations of ash and sediment occur. These represent the two ash beds of the Dry Dam, for the equivalents of Lavas 1 and 2 of the Whinny Hill are not found on the Calton Hill. Above the ashes lie two lavas of Craiglockhart basalt, the lower closely resembling Lava 3 of the Whinny Hill. Lavas 4,5,6 and 7 of the Whinny Hill are not found, their temporal equivalent being a thick bed of ash containing an unsorted assemblage of boulders, blocks and bombs of basalt. Above this there lies a group of three lavas of Markle basalt separated by thin ash-beds, the local equivalents of Lavas 8, 9 and 10 of the Whinny Hill. On the highest Markle flow lies another ash-bed which, in turn, is overlain by a group of three mugearite lavas, again separated by ash-beds; these flows are the approximate equivalents in time of Whinny Hill Lavas 11 and 12. The highest mugearite lava of the Calton Hill is directly covered by the Abbeyhill Shales.

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