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This book is a celebration of Britain's coastal geology - ammonites and sand, sea stacks and wavecut platforms. It goes paddling in the rock pools to examine the rock samples so perfectly polished up for us by the sea. Between the lichen and the low-tide line, everything is out in the open to be looked at: desert sand dunes emerging out of the ocean; cliffs bent and crumpled by two continents crashing into each other; a band of red-hot basalt squeezed from somewhere in Scotland.
Britain today lacks glaciers and volcanoes, but the grand geological earth-shifter we do see is the sea, hard at it around our 6000 miles of coast. And as you wander along the edge of the sand, gradually slowing your eye to the beach-holiday speed of looking at things, you see small creatures, seashells and corals from hundreds of millions of years ago. Real geology isn't looking up the books and memorising long words. Real geology is looking at real rock, and working out what has been happening to it. What Britain is and where it came from, just what's been going on for the last 500 million years: all is revealed, in a continuous slice around our seaside.
1 The Sea the Sea
2 Understanding Sand
3 Sediments, Squashed Rocks, Volcanoes
4 Igneous Antrim
7 chalk walk
8 Jurassic Coast: Dorset and Devon
9 The Other Jurassic Coast: Cleveland
10 Red Sandstone Sandwich
11 Coal Coasts
12 Greatly controversial Devon
13 Ancient Days
Ronald Turnbull is a geographer and a walker. Author of over a dozen highly regarded walking books and guides, he has won seven awards from the Outdoor Writers' Guild. Ronald lives in Thornhill in Dumfriesshire.