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Geology of Fife

Course Times & Enrolment

(Code SN094-402) Mon & Tues, 18 & 19 July (10:00-15:30 each day) 2 day course On location • Tutor: Angus D Miller BSc PhD
This course is full

Course Summary

The Fife coastline has a rich array of rock types that influenced the locations of harbours and the use of local resources. This short course gives an overview of the history of the formation of the rocks of Fife and takes students on walking excursions to key geological sites.

The course offers an overview of the geology of Fife, surveys how the modern landscape of Fife formed, and allows students to appreciate how the long, slow story of change that has created this area continues with modern processes.

The gently undulating landscapes of Fife mask a turbulent geological past. Rocks, fossils and landforms of the area tell of baking deserts, tropical rainforests and erupting volcanoes. In the more recent geological past, this area was covered by ice, which shaped the contemporary landscape.

Direct observation during outdoor learning sessions helps students to recognise the main rock types found in the area and understand the links between geological history, human activity and modern landscape.

Key topics include the study and observation of a wide range of sedimentary rocks; past volcanic activity and volcanic necks filled with agglomerate and minor intrusions; examples of folds and faults; glacial erratics and raised beach.

Excursions give students the opportunity to directly observe and understand how the modern landscape of Fife coastline has been formed.

Please note, this course includes field trips. 

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

The field trips will involve walking approximately 6km each day over uneven terrain on rough paths and sandy/rocky beaches with some steep inclines and slippery conditions underfoot.

Transport is not provided, you need to make your own way to the meeting point but the excursions are accessible by public transport from Edinburgh. 

Special Information

Participants will need warm, waterproof outdoor clothing and suitable footwear.

Content of Course

Day 1

Day field trip to Kinghorn, FifeRange of sedimentary rocks, including several limestone layers. Volcanic necks filled with agglomerate and minor intrusions. Clear examples of folds and faults. Glacial erratics and raised beach..

Day 2

Day field trip to Elie / St Monans (Fife). Range of sedimentary rocks, including several limestone layers. Volcanic necks filled with agglomerate and minor intrusions. Clear examples of folds and faults. Glacial erratics and raised beach Summary of key points and Q&A. Discussion.

Teaching method(s)

Outdoor learning focussed on what students can directly observe and experience.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course student should be able to:

  • Understand how the modern landscape of Fife has been formed;

  • Recognise the main rock types found in the area;

  • Understand their link to the landscape and their use by people;

  • Appreciate that the slow story of change continues with modern processes.

Sources

Web Sources

There is some information on the web at:

geoHeritage - School of Earth and Environmental Sciences - University of St Andrews (st-andrews.ac.uk)

Fife and Tayside: a landscape fashioned by geology Introductory Publications – Scotland – the home of geology (scottishgeology.com)

 Also, on the Scottish Earth Science Education Forum:

http://www.geowalks.co.uk/eso/StMonansTeachersGuideHigher-v4.pdf

Queries

If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.