sedimentary rocks

igneous rocks

The terrain of the Lothians, an ice-moulded relief developed largely across differentially eroded volcanic and sedimentary rocks

Structural landforms

Definition: landforms where rock structures are the dominant controls on morphology

Landscapes are products of time, process and structure. The landscape of East Lothian is young, fashioned largely during the Ice Age. The dominant process has been glacial erosion, which has lowered the surface by many tens of metres. Yet the structural control over the landscape is hard to miss. The generally softer sedimentary rocks have been gouged into linear hollows whilst the tough volcanic rocks form ridges and hills. Glacial erosion has exposed to view a wide range of igneous features which have long been recognised as classic examples of structural landforms. The scenery of East Lothian includes a striking array of landforms where rock structure is an important control on the shape of the landform.

Rock structure can refer to many properties of a rock, including:

  • tilting - dip and strike
  • folding - deformation of rocks
  • fracturing - faults, joints and bedding planes

The rock structures guide weathering and erosion and through time distinctive landforms of differential weathering and erosion are created.

In East Lothian we have two main  rock groups:

  • sedimentary rocks
  • igneous rocks

The distinctive structures in these rocks give rise to a range of landforms, reflecting both the primary form of the igneous mass and the progressive erosion of igneous rocks long after igneous activity has ceased.