Field Guide to the Geology of Gigha & Cara

J.G. MacDonaldGigha Field Guide

80 pages, with over 70 photographs and figures, mostly in full colour
Publisher: Geological Society of Glasgow (2013)

ISBN:  978-0-902892-12-5
Retail price: £10.00; members’ price: £8.00
About the author
Jim MacDonald, formerly Director of Lifelong Learning in the Faculty of Education at the University of Glasgow, is an Honorary Teaching Fellow in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. He has many years’ experience in the teaching of geology and has carried out geological field work in many parts of Europe and in the Atlantic Islands.

Dr MacDonald first visited Gigha briefly in 1973 to give an extra-mural talk on the geology of the Hebrides. It was not until 1999, when he returned for a holiday, that he realised that the island had much of its own to offer in the way of geological interest. A search for published work revealed that little appeared to have been done since the 1920s, when a paper by W.J. McCallien was published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Since retiring, Dr MacDonald has made frequent visits to the island with a view to producing an up-to-date geological map, and is continuing with this work.

The guide contains the most up-to-date information available about the geology of Gigha, and is intended to introduce visitors to the fascinating geology of an often overlooked corner of the Hebrides. The first part of the book provides an extended introduction to the geological history of Gigha and Cara; explanations of the specialist terminology are given in the text and also in a short appendix. The second part consists of eight descriptive itineraries covering selected areas of the more accessible parts of Gigha, mainly around the coastline; there is also a short description of the small neighbouring island of Cara. The guide is profusely illustrated by colour photographs (taken by the author), locality maps and line diagrams. There is also a brief glossary explaining the meanings of the Gaelic words used in place names in Gigha.

The Geological Society of Glasgow is proud to have published this book, which is an indispensable guide for anyone visiting Gigha and wishing to explore the geology of the island. It can be purchased at the society’s bookshop, or by emailing the society at: