|Elevation||140 m (460 ft)|
|Prominence||c. 80 m (260 ft)|
|Topo map||OS Landranger 66|
|Age of rock||~350 million years|
|Mountain type||Crag and tail, volcanic plug|
Castle Rock (Scottish Gaelic : Creag a' Chaisteil, IPA:[ˈkʰʲɾʲekˈaˈxaʃtʰʲɪl]) is a volcanic plug in the middle of Edinburgh upon which Edinburgh Castle sits. The rock is estimated to have formed some 350 million years ago during the early Carboniferous period. It is the remains of a volcanic pipe which cut through the surrounding sedimentary rock, before cooling to form very hard dolerite, a coarser-grained equivalent of basalt. Subsequent glacial erosion was resisted more by the dolerite, which protected the softer rock to the east, leaving a crag and tail formation.
The summit of the castle rock is 130 metres (430 ft) above sea level, with rocky cliffs to the south, west and north, rearing up to 80 metres (260 ft) from the surrounding landscape. This means that the only readily accessible route to the castle lies to the east, where the ridge slopes more gently. The defensive advantage of such a site is clear, but the geology of the rock also presents difficulties, since basalt is an extremely poor aquifer. Providing water to the Upper Ward of the castle was problematic, and despite the sinking of a 28-metre (92 ft) deep well, the water supply often ran out during drought or siege, for example during the Lang Siege of 1573.
Edinburgh Castle is a historic castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. It stands on Castle Rock, which has been occupied by humans since at least the Iron Age, although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633. From the 15th century, the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison. Its importance as a part of Scotland's national heritage was recognised increasingly from the early 19th century onwards, and various restoration programmes have been carried out over the past century and a half.
An inselberg or monadnock is an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. In Southern Africa a similar formation of granite is known as a koppie, an Afrikaans word from the Dutch diminutive word kopje. If the inselberg is dome-shaped and formed from granite or gneiss, it can also be called a bornhardt, though not all bornhardts are inselbergs. An inselberg results when a body of rock resistant to erosion, such as granite, occurring within a body of softer rocks, is exposed by differential erosion and lowering of the surrounding landscape.
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Diabase, also called dolerite or microgabbro, is a mafic, holocrystalline, subvolcanic rock equivalent to volcanic basalt or plutonic gabbro. Diabase dikes and sills are typically shallow intrusive bodies and often exhibit fine-grained to aphanitic chilled margins which may contain tachylite.
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The Pentland Hills are a range of hills southwest of Edinburgh, Scotland. The range is around twenty miles in length, and runs southwest from Edinburgh towards Biggar and the upper Clydesdale.
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The North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP) is a large igneous province in the North Atlantic, centered on Iceland. In the Paleogene, the province formed the Thulean Plateau, a large basaltic lava plain, which extended over at least 1.3 million km2 (500 thousand sq mi) in area and 6.6 million km3 (1.6 million cu mi) in volume. The plateau was broken up during the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean leaving remnants preserved in north Ireland, west Scotland, the Faroe Islands, northwest Iceland, east Greenland, western Norway and many of the islands located in the north eastern portion of the North Atlantic Ocean. The igneous province is the origin of the Giant's Causeway and Fingal's Cave. The province is also known as Brito–Arctic province and the portion of the province in the British Isles is also called the British Tertiary Volcanic Province or British Tertiary Igneous Province.
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Media related to Castle Rock, Edinburgh at Wikimedia Commons