An ancient and long-extinct volcano lies at the heart of Scotland's capital. It roared into life some 350 million years ago and has been a source of fascination since it was first studied in earnest during the Enlightenment by James Hutton, one of the most significant geologists of all time. Many of Hutton's ground-breaking ideas of how the world works were predicated on the rocks and landscapes of his home city and surrounding area. This book is a fascinating exploration into Edinburgh's geological history over millions of years - including the passage of ice during a great freeze that has left an indelible stamp on Edinburgh's cityscape, the use rocks quarried locally from ancient, now long disappeared seas to create the stunning elegance of Edinburgh's New Town, and the coal deposits and oil shale which were exploited from the Industrial Revolution to the present day.
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Alan McKirdy has written many popular books and book chapters on geology and related topics and has helped to promote the study of environmental geology in schools. Before his recent retirement he was Head of Information Management at Scottish Natural Heritage.