About the Book
The Small Isles comprise the Inner Hebridean islands of Rum, Eigg, Canna and Muck.
The landscapes, rocks and fossils of these beautiful, remote islands tells of a drama involving erupting volcanoes, an ancient ecosystem that included dinosaurs and an ancient desert landscape. The geological history stretches back 3 billion years to the earliest events recorded on Earth.
All four islands owe their origin to a group of three adjacent volcanoes that were active around 60 million years ago. Rum is the eroded remains of the magma chamber of one of these volcanoes. Eigg and Muck are part of the lava field that extends north from the Mull volcano and Canna lies towards the southern extent of the lavas that flowed from the Skye volcano.
The final event that left a mark on these islands was the Ice Age that started around 2.4 million years ago. Its effect on the landscape was profound. The thick cover of erosive ice shaped the contours of the land into the hills and glens that we are familiar with today.
Alan McKirdy has written many popular books and book chapters on geology and related topics and has helped to promote the study of environmental geology in Scotland. He is the author of Set in Stone: The Geology and Landscapes of Scotland and before his retirement he was Head of Knowledge and Information Management at Scottish Natural Heritage. He is now a freelance writer and has given many talks on Scottish geology and landscapes at book festivals and other events across the country.
You may also like…
Paperback | Pub: 11 Jul 2019£6.99
Longlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2019 The rocks of northern Scotland tell of turbulent events involving continental collisions that unleashed cataclysmic forces, creating a chain of mountains, the remnants of which we see today on both sides...
Paperback | Pub: 16 Jul 2015£9.99
The land that was to become Scotland has travelled across the globe over the last 3,000 million years – from close to the South Pole to its current position. During these travels, there were many continental collisions, creating mountain belts...
Paperback | Pub: 05 May 2022£7.99
The written history and archaeological records of Central Scotland takes us back to Pictish times some 5,000 years ago. The geology of the area stretches back a further 400 million years. The oldest rocks are found near Lesmahagow and in the...
Paperback | Pub: 01 Aug 2016£7.99
The Isle of Skye offers a magical combination of wild land and breath-taking natural beauty. Skye’s geological history involves some of the most ancient rocks on the planet; a grandstand view as the Highlands of Scotland were formed over 400...