Glacially-abraded basalt at Merrylaws, looking towards Whitekirk

Striated surface above an old quarry face


Significance: a striking example of glacially-gouged and -smoothed bedrock

The volcanic ridge which rises to over 50 m north and west of Whitekirk has been scoured during the passage of the last ice sheet. Basalt lava flows occur at or just below the surface and the surfaces are smooth and locally striated. Erosion by the ice has picked out fractures in the rock to produce elongate low rock ridges a few metres high and tens of metres long, with a few exhibiting crag-and-tail forms. All show a parallel alignment from east northeast to west southwest. This is a fragment of deeply glacially-eroded terrain more reminiscent of the west coast of Scotland than of the rolling farmlands of East Lothian.