New virtual models are available to view online via Sketchfab of the “Hutton Section” and “Hutton’s Rock” at Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park.
The digital 3D models are the work of Historic Environment Scotland (HES) in partnership with Nature Scot.
Salisbury Crags, and its adjoining Hutton Section, were formed millions of years ago by rising magma forced under pressure between layers of sedimentary rock below the now dormant Arthur’s Seat volcano. This then cooled to form a near horizontal sheet-like body, or sill, of igneous rock called Dolerite.
The 3D models were created through a process of laser scanning, using ultra-fast, high-resolution laser scanners to capture 3D spatial data in the form of a point cloud. To create a photorealistic model, hundreds of overlapping images of the site are then combined with the 3D data, in a technique known as photogrammetry.
James Hutton, 1726 – 1796, is known as the father of modern geology. He developed the theory that geological features could not be static but underwent continuing transformation over indefinitely long periods of time – and one of the places he studied was Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh.
“Hutton realised that the processes of erosion, deposition and uplift were connected and operated continuously, driven by the Earth’s internal heat, in a way not previously understood. “Edinburgh Geological Society
While the Hutton Section and Hutton’s Rock are temporarily closed to the public due to rockfall issues which HES is currently addressing, there are plans to start risk assessed, personal protective equipment (PPE) covered park ranger led educational visits to the site for students and educational groups over the next few months.