Monday, 28 March 2016

April 7th - Chernobyl exclusion zone - 30 years on

April 7th - Bath Geological Society
Chernobyl exclusion zone - 30 years on
Dr. Lorraine Field, British Geological Survey
The world’s worst nuclear disaster took place on the 26th April 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the town of Pripyat, in the then Ukrainian SSR. The battle to contain the contamination cost in excess of an estimated 18 billion roubles, and involved over 500,000 workers from across the Soviet Union. There is now a 30 km exclusion zone in effect around the plant. The effects of the disaster were felt far wider than just the Ukraine – it was only in November 2012 that the last of the sheep movement restrictions was lifted in the UK.
Further details of this talk may be found on Bath GS website.
7.30 p.m. BRLSI 16 Queen Square
Everyone welcome - visitors £4 - free refreshments

Moon's tilt and origin of water on Earth

Dramatic change in the moon’s tilt may help us trace 
the origin of water on Earth 

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Vallis Vale de la Beche unconformity - damage to this SSSI

Message from Alan Holiday, DIGS Group
"I was at Vallis Vale today with a group from Sherborne U3A. As you can see from the photo someone had had a bonfire on the unconformity surface!

I wasn’t in a position to clear up the mess unfortunately.
I was wondering if we might approach this through local school(s) if there is a geology dept or through geography or science  departments and try and get the staff on board to explain why this shouldn’t happen. When I was on the site in the summer doing some conservation work some of the young people were interested in what we were doing but had no idea why it was an important site until I told them. Can we get the young people to ’own’ the site and take care of it or has this already been tried?"

Response from the Somerset Earth Science Centre
"A difficult one. We do discuss the importance of this site with our school visitors. Any signage on this site has been systematically vandalized. At the moment we are working with the Mendip AONB on a lottery bid to get some leaflets/trails done for Vallis. We will hear about whether this is successful this month. Plus we have our regular public events taking people through Vallis to tell them why it is such an important area e.g. the walk at our annual geology festival Mendip Rocks!. So the whole thing is ongoing. However, teenagers will always claim out of the way areas as their own. We periodically sweep the area and clear it up, and I know local people will do the same and lovely geologists like yourself do blitzs on these sites too. We all do our bit."

Please send us your views and suggestions.

Tully monster - mystery solved

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Brown's Folly Middle Jurassic SSSI

The Brown's Folly website has been updated with some new photos.

Net-like colonial coral from the patch reef at Site 8

Brachiopod inside boring into the coral, Site 8

Parts of Apiocrinus, a crinoid from the Bradford Clay at 
Site 7

Calcite rimmed brachiopod shells from the Combe Down Oolite, Site 11

Many thanks to Mell Freeman, Bath Geological Society for the photos

Monday, 14 March 2016

4-5th and 18-19th June - Field Geology in Pembrokeshire (Part 2)

Lifelong Learning 4 day course
Field Geology in Pembrokeshire Part  2 (independent of Part 1)
Two weekends in June: 4th, 5th, 18th, 19th
10.00 am – 5.00 pm each day. 

The Pembrokeshire landscape differs from much of Wales in that it is largely unmountainous, with extensive areas forming plateaux lying below 183m (600 ft). This course will visit a number of key coastal locations in the south of the county, examining rocks formed during Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous times. The course is divided into two weekends to maximise safe tidal access and extent of rock exposures on beaches.
No prior knowledge of the area or geology is assumed and please note that Part 2 is independent of Part 1 run last autumn – anyone who wishes to enrol on Part 2 will not have had to do Part 1 first. 
Please note you will need to make your own travel and accommodation arrangements, with meeting times and places to be confirmed.  
The course is organised through Cardiff University. It carries assessment, which is very difficult to fail! Attendees usually find assessment on these courses useful for consolidating what they have learned.
Tuition fee is £152.00  (concessionary fee available £122.00).
Enrolments can be made by ‘phoning 029  2087  0000  or on website
For more information on course content and specific locations, contact tutor. 

17 - 19th June - Corsham Walking Festival

Friday 17th June - Box to Brown's Folly Nature Reserve
A circular walk leaving Box and climbing to Brown's Folly Nature reserve,
an SSSI site; joined there by Prof. Maurice Tucker, eminent geologist for exploration and information.
Further details from the Corsham Walking Festival website

Monday, 7 March 2016

Volcano Simulator

VOLCANO SIMULATOR was developed by the Alaska Museum of Science & Nature.

You can change the silica content and see the resulting rock type, change the type of eruption and type of volcano. According to the type you have chosen you will be able to see what it looks like in the day and at night, read the pressure, lava temperature and lava viscosity and see the accompanying seismograph. Brilliant!!

Scottish fungus that kick-started the human race!

This tiny, pioneering fungus was among the first organisms to populate dry land, sparking an explosion in plants and animals.
Without this fossilised Scottish fungus you probably would not exist.

Some 440 million years ago this tiny organism was among the first to make its way out of the seas and begin colonising the land. It is the oldest example of a land-dwelling species ever discovered in the fossil record. Only sea creatures have been found which are older. Crucially for humans, this early pioneer kick-started the process of rot and soil formation which eventually allowed plants to flourish and tempted animals on to dry land.
Examples of the diminutive Tortotubus fungus - shorter than the width of a human hair - were discovered on the Scottish Inner Hebridean island of Kerrera, and in Gotland, Sweden by scientists from the University of Cambridge.
Read more.

Fossil with 500 million year-old nervous system

One of the most detailed and well-preserved nervous system fossils ever found, from a crustacean-like animal that lived more than 500m years ago has been discovered. These fossils, which come from the Xiaoshiba biota in south China, are so well preserved that you can see individual nerve roots ten times thinner than a human hair. The findings offer the most detailed view of the nervous system in early animals available to date, and inform us about the early evolution of the nervous system in these creatures and their close relatives. These animals, the fuxianhuiids (pronounced foo-see-an-who-eeds) were primitive and known only to have lived during the early Cambrian period in China, some 515-520m years ago. Fuxianhuiids are widely regarded as being important for understanding the early evolution of the arthropods. This is a large group of animals with jointed limbs and hard exoskeletons that also includes insects, arachnids and crustaceans. Finding preserved nervous tissues in fuxianhuiids tells us a lot about their early evolution and that of their close relatives.
Click here for a link