Thursday, 5 December 2019

Did a Rainy Spell Start Dinosaur Evolution?

Did a Rainy Spell Start Dinosaur Evolution?

THIS ARTICLE tells a rather charming story of how a chance encounter led to a theory that a wet period in the mostly dry Triassic (the Carnian) encouraged (or demanded) evolution. Some crinoids died. Corals became more modern, mammals may have appeared. And dinosaurs - a rather rare group - evolved into a diverse group.

The article has lots of detail - was the Wrangellian eruptions in western North America responsible for global warming which led to increased precipitation? 

But now the Carnian is being intensively studied wherever it is found, including the Dolomites, which allows me to show one of my photos of a mountain with some red stuff - is that the Carnian?


How Life Survived Snowball Earth

How Life Survived Snowball Earth

THIS ARTICLE in the New York Times, based on THIS ARTICLE in a scientific journal (subscription required), describes research which found that some areas beneath the ice, separated from the atmosphere, had sufficient oxygen to sustain life. These areas were near the shoreline, land against sea ice.

The researchers reckon that glacial meltwater, running into the sub-ice oceans carried oxygen in sufficient quantity to let aerobic life to survive.

The articles describe the research which led to this conclusion, in much more detail than I give and the N Y Times article is very easy to read.

Credit...Chris Butler/Science Source

Saturday, 30 November 2019

2nd to 8th December 2019


NEXT WEEKS EVENTS

2nd to 8th December 2019


THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXTRACT FROM BRISTOL AND WEST COUNTRY GEOLOGY CALENDARS

MORE DETAILS CAN BE FOUND IN THE BRISTOL AND THE WEST COUNTRY CALENDARS AND ON THE WEB SITES OF THE RELEVANT SOCIETY OR ORGANISATION.


MONDAY 2nd


tuesday 3rd


wednesday 4th

SGMRG - Lecture
When
Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019
Where
The miners Institute, BS36 2QB Badminton Rd, Coalpit Heath, Bristol (map)
Description
Trials, Tribulations & Triumphs, Rescuing Hemingfield Colliery, a talk by Steve Grudgings.

Non-members welcome; fee £2:00 ea.

(Membership £17:50/year)

7:30 pm for 8:00 pm start.

Events, Exhibitions & Publications:  Roger Gosling 01454 883607

thursday 5th

Geostudies - Lecture Series - Miscellany
When
Thu, 5 December, 18:30 – 20:30
Where
John Kyrle High School, Ledbury Rd, Ross-on-Wye HR9 7ET, UK (map)
Description
Understanding the Earth – a Geological Miscellany

Thursday September 19th, 6.30-8.30pm, running for 10 weeks at the Adult Education Centre, John Kyrle High School until 12th December (missing out 24th, 31st October and 7th November) covering the following topics: Geological maps and structures, and their relationship to landscape development; Tectonics, mountain building and their effects on landforms; Geological resources – formation , occurrence and exploitation; Climate change in a geological context. 

Cost £75, including drinks at break time. 
--------------------------------

Bristol Museum Lecture
When
Thu, 5 December, 19:30 – 21:00
Where
Priory Road Lecture Theatre, University of Bristol, 8 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1TN (map)
Description
Winter Lecture: Cosmochemistry – geology meets space science


Meteorites, the building blocks of the asteroids and the planets, are the most ancient rocks in the Solar System.

Containing the clues about how our Solar System was assembled, how the planets were built, and how long ago it all happened, deep time and space can be explored from a geological perspective.

Speaker: Tim Gregory, University of Bristol

Entry to the winter lectures is on a first come basis so we recommend arriving 15 minutes before the advertised start time to be assured of a seat.

All Winter Lectures take place at:
Priory Road Lecture Theatre,
University of Bristol,
8 Woodland Road,
Bristol
BS8 1TN

Parking in the area can be difficult so you may want to allow extra time to find a space.




friday 6th


saturday 7th

OUGS Severnside - Lectures
When
Saturday, 7 Dec 2019
Where
Oriel Suite, National Museum of Wales (map)
Description
Day of talks 
The confirmed speakers are:

Professor Susan Marriott, University of Bristol - The early depositional record of the Old Red Sandstone in the Anglo-Welsh Basin - Ludlow- to Pridoli-age deposits in Wales and the Welsh Borderland record the final infill of the Lower Palaeozoic marine Welsh Basin and transition to the continental deposits of the Old Red Sandstone on the southern margin of the newly formed Laurussian continent. Deposition was largely structurally controlled, particularly by the Welsh Borderland Fault System, though eustatic sea-level fluctuations in the Silurian linked to glacial episodes have been identified. A range of depositional environments has been examined from the initial pediment surface to incised valley fill deposits in response to relative sea-level changes. The talk will describe the different facies exposed and show how they document the Late Silurian history of the basin.

Cindy Howells, Collections Manager, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff - Dinosaur Discoveries - she will be talking about dinosaurs from their very earliest discoveries, the history of some of the collectors, and how they have been interpreted through time.

Dr Ian Skilling, University of South Wales - What Triggers Magma-Water Explosions?: Evidence from Pyroclast and Peperite Textures - Magma interacting with water or wet sediment is a very common occurrence (there is no such thing as a dry and sediment-free vent!).   Sometimes this interaction is violently explosive but at other times is passive.  It is important from a hazard perspective to understand exactly what triggers explosions.  Ideas about these processes have come from theoretical and physical models, but this talk will focus on using evidence from rocks that preserve evidence of the interaction of magma and wet sediment (peperites) and from the textures of pyroclasts formed in magma-water explosions.

Professor J Huw Davies, Cardiff University - Mantle Engine - Earth’s surface responds to flow in its mantle. Over the past few decades we have been able to start mapping some of that flow using seismology. We are now starting to build models of the flow to test our understanding and try to make predictions of events in the past - so called ‘retro-dict’. Huw will present the background to this exciting new science of mantle circulation modelling, and mention some of its successes to date.

 There will be a charge for the day - £6 per person - excellent value for excellent talks!

Refreshments will be provided on arrival from 10am - included in the charge.

Lunch is not included, but the Museum's café and restaurant will be open as usual. Or you can bring a packed lunch.

The library will be available as normal for you to borrow and return books.

 "Dippy" is on tour of course, and is at the National Museum Cardiff from 19 October 2019 to 26 January 2020. You may have time to see it at lunchtime or after the talks are finished on 7th December, if the queue is not too long.

sunday 8th



Friday, 29 November 2019

Down to Earth Extra - December 2019


DOWN TO EARTH EXTRA - December 2019


You can get the latest edition HERE

.

An interesting blog

An Interesting Blog

A correspondent has brought THIS BLOG to my notice. It is what this blog would look like if I had Steve Drury's talent and intellect! I would recommend it to everyone. But keep on reading this one!


Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Continents - Lost and Found

Continents - Lost and Found

THIS ARTICLE reviews what we know, and do not know, about lost continents, mostly under the sea but also squished up in mountain chains.

Their main focus is on the lost continents around Australia, including the Louisiade Plateau which has been the subject of their current research.

But they also give a good background to the subject and the article is well worth reading.



Saturday, 23 November 2019

25th November to 1st December 2019


NEXT WEEKS EVENTS

25th November to 1st December 2019


THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXTRACT FROM BRISTOL AND WEST COUNTRY GEOLOGY CALENDARS

MORE DETAILS CAN BE FOUND IN THE BRISTOL AND THE WEST COUNTRY CALENDARS AND ON THE WEB SITES OF THE RELEVANT SOCIETY OR ORGANISATION.


MONDAY 25TH

Geostudies - Lecture Series - Ordovician
When
Mon, 25 November, 19:30 – 21:30
Where
Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester (map)
Description
Geology of the Ordovician Period. 

The last Phanerozoic geological period to be named, after a bitter struggle between Murchison and Sedgwick. Lasting from 
485 to 444Ma ago, this period saw the enormous radiation of new forms of life and the earliest colonisation of the land by primitive plants “The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event” . The two halves of Britain were separated by the Iapetus Ocean, but both were tectonically extremely active. The supercontinent of Gondwana drifted across the South Pole, possibly triggering a short and unusual (high CO2) glaciation and the second biggest mass extinction of life at the end of the period. As usual there is considerable debate about aspects of this period. 

Starts Mon 16th September  for 10 weeks (not 28th Oct nor 4th Nov nor 2nd Dec), until 9th December   Held at Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester from 7.30-9.30pm on Mondays. 

Cost £75 (including tea, coffee etc at break time!).  

Tuesday 26th


Wednesday 27th

Bristol Nats Lecture
When
Wed, 27 November, 19:30 – 21:00
Where
Westbury-on-Trym Methodist Church, Westbury Hill, Bristol, BS9 3AA (map)
Description
William Sanders – First President of Bristol Naturalists Society
Talk by Deborah Hutchinson – Bristol City Museum

This talk, which will be of interest to all BNS members, will focus on his life and contributions to science and in particular the production of his map of the Bristol Coal Field that forms the basis of the BNS study area today.


thursday 28th

Geostudies - Lecture Series - Miscellany
When
Thu, 28 November, 18:30 – 20:30
Where
John Kyrle High School, Ledbury Rd, Ross-on-Wye HR9 7ET, UK (map)
Description
Understanding the Earth – a Geological Miscellany

Thursday September 19th, 6.30-8.30pm, running for 10 weeks at the Adult Education Centre, John Kyrle High School until 12th December (missing out 24th, 31st October and 7th November) covering the following topics: Geological maps and structures, and their relationship to landscape development; Tectonics, mountain building and their effects on landforms; Geological resources – formation , occurrence and exploitation; Climate change in a geological context. 

Cost £75, including drinks at break time. 
------------------------------------

Talk in Wells
When
Thu, 28 November, 19:00 – 20:30
Where
Cedars Hall, Wells Cathedral School (map)
Description
Talk: Somerset’s Beastly Past
Ice Age Climates and Changing Fauna

Danielle Schreve, Professor Of Quaternary Science, Royal Holloway University, tells us about the fascinating insights into animal responses to abrupt climate change at the end of the last Ice Age.

Tickets: £8 unreserved, free for 25s and under
Book your tickets http://cedarshall.events  box office: 01749 834483

friday 29th

Geostudies - Field Course - Lake district
When
29 Nov – 2 Dec 2019
Where
Lake District (map)
Description
Geology of the Lake District 


A classic area for the study of the folded Lower Palaeozoic basement in the Central Lakes, and the unconformable Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic sequence exposed around its margins. Spectacular scenery, classic sedimentary, volcanic, structural and metamorphic geology, and a wide variety of mineralisation. 

Friday lunchtime to Monday lunchtime. 

saturday 30th

GEOSTUDIES - FIELD COURSE - LAKE DISTRICT - see Friday

SUNDAY 1st

GEOSTUDIES - FIELD COURSE - LAKE DISTRICT - see Friday