Thursday, 27 November 2014

December 4th - Ocean Acidification

The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification
Professor Andy Ridgwell, Earth System Modelling, University of Bristol
Thursday December 4th, BRLSI, Bath, 7.30 p.m.
The future consequences of 'ocean acidification' (the chemical and pH changes induced by adding CO2 to seawater) for marine ecosystems are difficult to assess, in part because laboratory experiments are limited by their necessary short time-scales and reduced ecologic complexity. In contrast, the geological record is replete not only with a variety of global environmental perturbations that may include ocean acidification, but also associated biotic responses including adaptation and evolution. However, for the geological record to provide future-relevant information about potential species and ecosystem responses, qualitatively (and ideally quantitatively) similar changes in carbonate chemistry to those projected for the future, must have occurred.
In this talk Prof Ridgwell will address the questions: at what rate of atmospheric CO2 change does ocean acidification become qualitatively similar to current and future changes, and have any events in the geological past exhibited the characteristics of anthropogenic ocean acidification?
Everyone welcome - visitors £4 - free refreshments
Next year's lecture and field trip programmes can be seen on our website.

Shetland Caledonides July 2015 (GS)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

December 2nd - Mountains under the Sea

Mountains under the Sea
Tuesday 2nd December, 8.00 p.m.
Professor Tony Watts FRS, Marine Geology and Geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford.

One of the mysteries of the sea are the large number of seamounts that rise up on the seabed and, in a few cases, break surface to form oceanic islands. Volcanic in origin, seamounts are widely scattered throughout the world’s ocean basins, especially in the Pacific. Recent estimates suggest that there maybe as many as 200,000 seamounts with heights that range from 0.1 to 6.7 km above the surrounding seafloor. Seamounts are generally circular in shape, have pointed, star-shaped, curved, or flat tops, and are often capped by a coral reef. They are of geological interest because they record the motions of Earth’s tectonic plates and the magmatic ‘pulse’ of its deep interior. They are also significant as ocean ‘stirring rods’, biodiversity ‘hotspots’, and hazards for megathrust earthquakes, submarine landslides, and navigation. Statistical studies suggest that there are as many as 24,000 seamounts higher than 1 km still to be discovered. The charting of these seamounts and the determination of their morphology, structure, and evolution is one of the many challenges facing marine geologists in the future.
Venue: Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3AN.  
The entrance is set back 30m from the road and has disability access. As many of you are aware, parking can be a problem and expensive and you may wish to take advantage of Oxford's Park and Ride scheme.  
Doors open at 7.30 pm for a prompt start at 8.00 pm.
If you arrive late, phone 07900 675338 to be let in.
Cost: £2 per person to cover expenses.
The talk will be followed by the Oxford Branch
Christmas Party
Please bring a plate of food to share. 
The branch will provide tea, coffee, soft drinks, 
wine and bread and cheese.

Monday, 24 November 2014

WEGA - new website

West of England Geologists' Association (WEGA) has recently launched its new website.
Details of all the lectures and the field meetings organised for 2015 are listed.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Teaching & Learning in Geoscience Education: Summer School 2015!

 Photo from very successful 2014 summer school

Teaching & Learning in Geoscience Education: summer school 2015!
If you know anyone that might be interested in attending:
- there are 11 bursary places available
- the dates are Saturday 18th–Friday 24th July 2015
- fieldwork focus module, 22nd–23rd August and 24th–25th October
Click here for further details and an application form
Applications for both modules are welcomed now.

Comet 67P

The comet 67P being investigated by the Rosetta and Philae space craft has this spectacular cliff-face with cobbles appparently sticking out of finer material.  The resolution of the original image is about 1-2 metres/pixel.  These boulders may be 10-20 metres across.  The similarity to boulder-clay inclusions, or Budleigh Salterton pebbles, though much, much bigger, poses questions as to how they formed in the comet.  They definitely look sub-rounded or ellipsoidal or oblate.  What erosion process could hew such large boulders? And then emplace them in the matrix.  They seem to have previously been internal to the matrix, but exposed now.  The comet may have originated as part of a much bigger planet with gravity and atmosphere to allow boulders to be formed.
Sent to the blog by Richard.