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Edinburgh Past and Present


OUTLINE OF T H E GEOLOGY O F E D I N B U R G H AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD. BY PROFESSOR GEIKIE, LLD., F.R.S. FEW parts of the British Islands have been more frequently the subjects of geglogical description than the district of which. Edinburgh forms the centre. From the time when its igneous rocks were studied by Hutton, and made to bear their testimony to the Vulcanist theory of the earth, down to the present day, books, memoirs, and notices have appeared in a continuous stream, until it might be thought that hardly anything more can remain to be said or written on the subject. And yet, as each year passes, new glimpses are opened up into aspects of geology which our fathers never dreamt of, and doubtlqss, after all the living geologists and writers have passed away, succeeding generations will find the rocks and their story still inexhaustible. But though countless points of detail remain to be worked out, the general outline of the geological history of this region can now be'traced with tolerable precision: Such an outline, in language intelligible to the nonscientific reader, is all that can be attempted, or indeed seems desirable,' in these pages. Geological history is at the best confessedly imperfect, even when based upon the evidence drawn from the study of a whole country, or an entire continent, or of the globe itself. Still more fragmentary must it be when it relates only to a limited region. Under the most favourable circumstances it may lack most or all of the introductory chapters; a few scattered pages, as it were, may be all that relate the events of one of the longest and most momentous geological periods ; the narrative will suddenly break off in the middle of an interesting epoch, and when it resumes again we find that it deals with a totally different and far more recent series of events. From the T
Volume 11 Page 204
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