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Volcanoes are a fascination for people, and past volcanic eruptions have had a significant role in shaping Scotland’s landscape, creating for example the rocks of Glencoe and Skye. By exploring modern eruptions around the world we can develop an understanding of the volcanic activity in Scotland’s geological past.
No previous knowledge required.
Session 1. Why do volcanoes erupt? An introduction to different types of volcanoes, volcanic rocks, the distribution of volcanoes around the world, and the theory of plate tectonics which explains the pattern of past and present volcano distributions.
Session 2. Volcanic activity associated with ocean closure and plate collision: the Caledonian orogeny in Scotland and related volcanic activity, including case studies of Glencoe and comparison with large-scale volcanic eruptions in western USA, Japan and New Zealand.
Session 3. Volcanoes of the Caledonian orogeny continued, further case studies including the Ochil and Pentland Hills, illustrated with reference to comparable eruptions in the Caribbean, New Zealand and Japan.
Session 4. Volcanic activity associated with crustal rifting. Overview of rift-related and basaltic volcanism in the world today, with examples from Iceland and New Zealand.
Session 5. The Midland Valley of Scotland – rift related volcanic activity during the Carboniferous Period, including case studies of diatremes in Fife and the Lothians.
Session 6. The Atlantic rift: crustal rifting and volcanic activity on the west coast of Scotland, creating the volcanic rocks of the Inner Hebrides.
Six lecture sessions, with opportunities to look at rocks and maps, ask questions and take part in discussions.
By the end of this course, students will be able to:
Note taking, discussion, analysis of information from different sources, application of case studies to understanding events of the past.
Gillen, C (2013), Geology and landscapes of Scotland, Dunedin, 9781-780460-09-3.
Upton, B (2004), Volcanoes and the Making of Scotland, Dunedin (2nd edition), 9781-780460-56-7.
“Landscape fashioned by geology” booklets - http://www.snh.gov.uk/publications-data-and-research/publications/
British Geological Survey “Geology of Britain” maps - http://mapapps.bgs.ac.uk/geologyofbritain/home.html
Class handouts will be provided - key diagrams and summary notes.
If you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study with us, please contact our Student Support Team by email StudentSupport.COL@ed.ac.uk or by phone 0131 650 4400 to arrange a confidential discussion. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010.