Self-guided walks to introduce Urban Geology in towns & cities
Urban Geology is the geology of the built environment. This includes the building stones and other materials used in town and cities as well as the tantalising glimpses of the pre-urban landscape and underlying bedrock. Cities are shunned by many geologists and considered as somewhere to escape, and yet many geologists live and work in cities, whether in universities or in the stone, mineral and hydrocarbon extraction industries, and there is much to learn from building stones. Importantly they are an untapped and enormous resource for teaching at all levels. Take the time to stroll down the average shopping street or through the City of London on a sunny Sunday morning and one can find one’s self on a global tour of the Earth’s geology from Precambrian migmatites to Quaternary travertines, from the Jurassic seas of Dorset to the Permian of the Oslo Graben or the Bushveld Complex of South Africa.
The urban landscape is also a great place to learn many aspects of geology, especially from building stones. Whilst there is no substitute for exploring rocks in situ to obtain an understanding of the three-dimensional geometries of outcrops, much can be learned about petrography, petrology, palaeontology and the environment of formation of many rocks on the average high street. The urban geologist is exposed to an enormous variety of rock types, far more than the committed field geologist could ever see in outcrop in the field.
The guided walks and the information that they contain are free to download here. The intended use is for education and under no circumstances may they be used commercially without explicit permission from the author/s. All non-commercial use should be given due credit. Contact details and preferred method of citation is given at the end of each guide.