SNH Guide to the Geology of East Lothian
A very good field guide is available to the varied and fascinating solid geology of East Lothian:
Lothian Geology: An Excursion Guide ISBN 0-9044-4006-0.
Geology and scenery
East Lothian may be mainly lowland but it is far from flat. The coastal plain is punctuated by a set of eye-catching hills developed on hard volcanic rocks that recur as islands just offshore. The land is also corrugated, with long, gentle gradients on roads running east and steep ups and downs running south. Yet this local relief merely masks a stepped terrain rising to the dark rim of the Lammermuirs.
The cross section taken from the Third Statistical Account of the county shows three main elements:
The Lammermuir Fault along most of its length lets down weaker Old Red Sandstone against the tough grits, greywackes and metamorphosed shales of the Lammermuirs. In contrast, the Dunbar-Lammermuir Fault is rarely picked out in the terrain, as displacement has involved no juxtaposition of rocks of contrasting resistance. On the Old Red Sandstone the rich browns of the bare arable fields in winter remind us of counterpart hues in the stone and pantiles of old buildings in the coastal towns and villages. Everywhere from the coast to the hills the geological structure provides a skeleton for the land.