South Queensferry Shore

The shoreline exposes a series of sandstones, oil-shales and mudstones belonging to the West Lothian Oil-Shale and Gullane Formations (around 350 million years ago). These sedimentary rocks were later intruded by magmas that cooled underground forming crystalline ‘sills’ which are more resistant to erosion and hence form headlands along the shoreline. Interesting relationships can be seen between the hot magmas and cool sediments while the whole section eloquently describes sedimentation over a long period in a shallow marine basin. Full descriptions of individual units and relationships are described in an excursion guide and teaching resource constructed by Edinburgh University’s Mark Wilkinson.

Excursion guide

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