Past volcanic eruptions have had a significant role in shaping Scotland’s landscape, creating for example the rocks of Glencoe and Skye. By exploring modern eruptions around the world we can develop an understanding of the volcanic activity in Scotland’s geological past.
What are volcanoes? Why do they erupt? An introduction to the different kinds of volcanoes and eruptions, and the variety of igneous rocks that are found in volcanic environments. The course considers case studies of active volcanoes and recent eruptions, and looks at how volcanoes work and the materials that they produce: lava flows, pyroclastic flows, ash falls.
The course then moves on to consider the ancient volcanoes and the landscape of Scotland, investigating volcanic episodes in Scotland, and their influence in the local landscape and the shape of country. Scotland’s past volcanic eruptions will be examined thematically, exploring volcanic activity associated with ocean closure and continental collision, and then volcanic activity associated with plate rifting and ocean formation. The type of volcanic activity seen in Scottish volcanoes in the past will be illustrated with examples from modern eruptions from around the world.