The excursion will focus on the geodiversity of the Cockenzie Harbour area, including Lower Carboniferous sedimentary rocks. The western harbour wall takes advantage of a massive E-W trending dyke, part of the Permo-Carboniferous quartz-dolerite dyke swarm. In addition, we will use a combination of historic maps and documentary sources to examine the importance of the local hydrological and hydrogeological systems on human activity, including influencing the outcome of the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745.

Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

Cockenzie: From the Carboniferous to Johnnie Cope

Date & time:

21/8/2019 1900

Finish time:

2100

Leaders:

Alistair J. McGowan, BioGeoD

Excursion aims and description:

The excursion will take a wider overview of geodiversity in the small area around Cockenzie Harbour.

On the beach of the harbour itself, we will be able to inspect some of the Lower Carboniferous sedimentary rocks of the Carboniferous Upper Limestone Formation. The western harbour wall, and some smaller sites to the east, take advantage of the massive E-W trending Port-Seton Spittal Dyke. This is an excellent example of a member of the Permo-Carboniferous quartz-microgabbro (dolerite) dyke swarm associated with extensional tectonics in the Midland Valley in the Late Palaeozoic.

In the other part of the excursion, we will use a combination of historic maps and documentary sources to examine the importance of the local hydrological and hydrogeological systems on human activity. The wetlands influenced the outcome of the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. More recently the closure of the deep coalmines meant that pumping out of water ceased. This allowed the mine galleries to re-flood as the water-table rose again with impacts, including acid mine drainage and the distortion of the main East Coast rail line.

Transport:

It is possible to take the train to Prestonpans and walk or cycle to and from the station, which is about 2 km away.

Car parking is free at a number of locations around the area on West Harbour Road.EH32 0HX

The Lothian Buses 26 service to Seton Sands stops close to West Harbour Road

Meeting point:

Eastern side of Cockenzie Harbour

First locality:

Cockenzie Harbour.

Excursion route:

www.plotaroute.com/route/763982

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Walk is entirely on paved surfaces. Distance: 1.9 km. Total ascent 60 m.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

No need for any high-risk road crossings. Tide will be just falling but the rocks in the raised beach section are never covered.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

N/A

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

Yes

Toilet information:

Public toilets are available at Aldi Store at edge of Prestonpans or Port Seton but not ideal.

Geological map sheet:

Scotland 33W Haddington

OS map sheet:

Landranger 66

References:

General information about Cockenzie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockenzie_and_Port_Seton

Overview of geology

Landscape Fashion by Geology:East Lothian, SNH 1997- Free PDF https://www.nature.scot/landscape-fashioned-geology-east-lothian-and-borders

East Lothian Geodiversity Audit: Introduction http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/OR/14/063_East_Lothian%E2%80%99s_geoheritage

Site description by BGS as part of East Lothian Geodiversity audit http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/OR/14/063_Site_assessment_-_ELC_16:_Cockenzie_and_Port_Seton

Groundwater issues

Crouching enemy, hidden ally: the decisive role of groundwater discharge features in two major British battles, Flodden 1513 and Prestonpans 1745 Younger, Paul L. Geological Society, London, Special Publications(2012),362(1):19 http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/SP362.2

Younger, P. L. (2016) A simple, low-cost approach to predicting the hydrogeological consequences of coalfield closure as a basis for best practice in long-term management. International Journal of Coal Geology, 164, pp. 25-34. (doi:10.1016/j.coal.2016.06.002) http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/120112/7/120112.pdf