Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Sunday, 28 August 2016
Friday, 26 August 2016
The Geological Society - Western Regional Group - September Events
After a quiet summer break (in terms of our even talks and events), we are pleased to announce two events for September:
After a quiet summer break (in terms of our even talks and events), we are pleased to announce two events for September:
What has laboratory testing got to do with it?
20th September 2016
The Western Regional Group is pleased to invite Dr Way Way Moinet form Atkins Ltd. Dr. Moinet will be sharing her experience modelling engineering conditions in the laboratory on different geomaterials under a variety of conditions
S H Reynolds Lecture Theatre, Bristol University
Refreshments from 6pm, for a 6.30pm start.
WRG Summer Field Trip
The Avon Gorge
2pm Sunday 25th September 2016
This year’s WRGS field trip will be led by Richard Arthur. We will be meeting on the Circular Road on the Downs at the Avon Gorge Viewpoint (Sneyd Park, Bristo, BS9 1PG, where the ice cream van parks). The fieldtrip will consist of a circular walk, probably taking 2.5hrs. We will be starting at the viewpoint, walking down to the Portway, along the Portway, up Bridge Valley Road and back to the original starting point. We will see lots of exposures including dolomitic conglomerates and fossilised crinoids along Bridge Valley Road (which will be shut to road traffic) and faulting amongst others. We recommend walking/safety boots as a minimum.
After the field trip we will be travelling back into Clifton and will order food and/or pint at one of the local pubs.
The cost of the trip is FREE.
Please e-mail email@example.com to reserve your place.
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Some GA Excursions
This has come my way. The second and last items may be of interest to us.
Monday, 22 August 2016
Box Rock Circus is now a "Gym Level 3" for Pokemon Go!!!!
Elizabeth Devon has sent me an email telling me (and you) that Box Rock Circus is now a "Gym level 3" in the mobile game Pokemon Go. No doubt this is exciting news for some.
Before I get too far into grumpy old man mode I will download the ?game? onto my phone and give it a go! You can get more information at, and through, http://www.boxrockcircus.org.uk/
Thursday, 18 August 2016
Giant ancient supervolcanoes threw rock right across Australia
|Zircon crystals found in Western Australia thought to have come from the north east coast of the continent.|
Actually not rocks - zircon crystals!
Wednesday, 17 August 2016
Proposed Course by Nick Chidlaw:-
"Geological Connections Using Hand Specimens"
Sandi Shallcross has forwarded this to me. Sounds rather interesting.
I have been very pleased with the interest and availability shown in recent years of the course format ‘Geological Connections using Hand Specimens’, catering for those studying geology both formally and informally. Three such courses have been run to-date, the most recent of which was provided primarily for OU Earth Science students.
This particular course format not only develops hand specimen identification skills, but also knowledge of the geological
connections between the specimens. As those who have attended these courses in the past will know, it’s hard work, but it develops your powers of practical analysis and geological reasoning! In practise, attendees enjoy the intellectual challenges involved. Details of the purpose, aim and structure of the course are given below.
Level of interest / availability
I am happy to run a ‘Connections’ course again this autumn for both those studying geology informally, as well as those on formal courses, if
enough people can attend for viability.
The dates of this proposed indoor Connections course is:
Deadline for minimum fees to be received fees to ensure the course is viable:
Please note that:
- The course would involve analysis of a different set of specimens and geological connections to those used on previous Connections courses run to-date. If you have attended any of these past courses, you will be seeing new specimens and connections
- It is not necessary for you to have attended any of the previous courses in order to successfully complete the one offered this year
Many thanks for your attention to this proposal.
If you have any queries, do let me know.
Hope to hear from you soon.
The central purpose is to develop in attendees an awareness of the connections which are found in the geological record between rocks, minerals and fossils. Such connections occur as geological processes take place: for example, certain rocks, minerals and fossils characterize the deposits laid down in a shallow, clear tropical sea; other rock and mineral types are indicative of thermal metamorphism around a felsic magma intrusion. Furthermore, within each process, it may be possible to discern an order of formation of these rocks, minerals and fossils over time : so, for example, with thermal metamorphism around a felsic intrusion, the unaffected rock into which the felsic magma was intruded was clearly present first, before it was metamorphosed by the intruding magma, the latter finally cooling and crystallizing out to form solid rock.
The aim of the course would be to achieve the course’s purpose by attendees analyzing and identifying hand specimens provided, then using the evidence accumulated from these analyses, to connect the specimens to several geological processes as stated by the tutor . Handout materials would be provided and consulted by attendees to enable this process of systematic ‘inductive’ reasoning. I would also be on hand to see how each attendee is progressing, and to provide guidance as and when required. Attendees may wish to work on their own, or if preferred, in small groups. Discussion between attendees would be encouraged. A list of suitable reference books would be provided in advance, so that attendees may bring copies they might have / borrow themselves, for use on the course. Copies of some of these books would also be brought by the tutor, for attendees to use.
An informal lecture by the tutor using powerpoint slides and whiteboard would be given in the last 2 hours of the course, in order to provide attendees with correct identifications of all hand specimens, and their allocation to each stated process. Examples of each process from the geological record will be described, for illustration.
On completion of the course, attendees would have a new / better appreciation of the set of geological processes focused on, and the legacy of these processes as manifest in the rock record. This should prove useful in the future, when attendees may be studying geology in the field and recognise the types of geological connections they have studied; equally, when reading about geological processes in books, the experience on the course of handling specimens and learning how they may be connected through such processes, should prove helpful in understanding.
Items you would need to bring
An A4 pad of drawing paper, pens (including a black one that produces a good strong line for completing your drawings), pencils, rubber, a ‘copper’ coin, a steel pen knife, a hand lens (x10 magnification), metric ruler. If you can obtain some dilute (10%) hydrochloric or acetic acid, a steel file, and a magnet, they would be useful (but not essential). Good light is of paramount importance in doing this work – bringing a desk lamp for your own use would be very useful to avoid eyestrain if ambient light is poor. Hand lenses can be purchased from opticians, or specialized geological suppliers e.g. ‘Geosupplies’ tel. 0114 245 5746.
Details and length of the course
The course would focus on 4 commonly-occurring geological processes, with a total of 16 hand specimen types provided to allocate to these 4 processes. In many cases more than one specimen of each type would be available to study. These 4 processes would be stated at the start of the course, and the number of specimen types to be allocated to each process would also be given . Some specimens would be allocated to more than one process. The task attendees then would have is to:
· firstly analyse systematically each specimen they choose, as on the hand specimen course(s) they have attended previously, and come to a conclusion(s) as to what it is.
· secondly look through the handouts / books provided, for background information, and begin to consider which of the 4 stated geological processes each specimen is likely to belong to.
· thirdly, through accumulation of data on all the specimens analysed, work out for each of the geological processes, any order of formation over time that may be discernible, of the specimens analysed.
There would be nothing misleading built in to this inductive procedure: the course aims to develop in attendees good observation, logical thinking, and confidence.
Using 16 hand specimen types, I propose that an average of 30 minutes is spent on analyzing each specimen. This would total 8 hours; time would then be needed to decide on the connections between the specimens studied and the 4 stated processes, and any order in time these specimens may be connected together. The time for this I propose would be 30 minutes on each of the 4 stated processes, totalling 2 hours. Together with the summary 2 hour lecture, this amounts of a course of 12 hours in length , similar to that used on the hand specimens courses. Like the latter, it is proposed that the course is run on 1 weekend: a Saturday and Sunday, using 6 hours on each day. The 6 hours on each day would be 10.00 am – 1.00 pm, and 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm, with a 1 hour lunch break between.
It is important to note that there would be no pressure for attendees to work to the average of 1 specimen per 30 minutes. Everybody would work at their own pace : quality is far more important than quantity. It would be far better to analyse a lower number of specimens well, and make some well-reasoned connections (where evident in their time order) to the 4 geological processes, than many more poorly-analysed specimens with rushed and poorly-reasoned conclusions. The informal lecture towards the end of the course will allow all attendees to know the correct identifications of all specimens, how they are connected, and which of these groups of connected specimens are allocated, in their time order where evident, to which of the 4 processes.
Venue for the course
It is proposed that if the course becomes viable, it is based at The Chantry, Thornbury, in South Gloucestershire. This is an excellent venue I have used for a number of indoor courses before. Details of the venue and its location can be seen at https://www.thechantry.org.uk
Saturday 12th / Sunday 13th November 2016
Tuition fee per person
£42.00 per person
Payment of tuition fee
Cheque payable to me sent to: 8, Silver Street, Dursley, Glos. GL11 4ND. Bank Trans can also be arranged – let me know if you wish to do this.
Number of course attendees for viability
Minimum of 10 enrolments or fee equivalent. Maximum of 20.
Fees Deadline for viability
Minimum of 10 enrolments to be received by:
Saturday 17th September
Should the minimum of enrolments not be reached, the course will be cancelled and fees received will be returned shortly afterwards to those who have sent them in. If the minimum of fees is received, those who have enrolled will be notified that the course is to run; enrolments will be able to continue up to 2 weeks before the course runs, i.e. up to 29th October.
If the course becomes viable, I will advise attendees who are travelling beyond commuting distance of sources of information for them to book accommodation suitable for their own preferences and budget.
World's oldest ocean crust dates back to ancient supercontinent
The oldest patch of undisturbed oceanic crust on Earth may lie deep beneath the eastern Mediterranean Sea – and at about 340 million years old, it beats the previous record by more than 100 million years.
Or perhaps not.
We’ve been wrong about the origins of life for 90 years
Saturday, 13 August 2016
The volcanoes no one has ever seen
|Pillow lavas like these are only formed when lava erupts into water. Here they are covered with a dusting of deep sea sediment (Credit: GEOMAR)|
The outstanding thing about this is the quality of the pictures. Thanks to Isobel Buckingham for the link
Friday, 12 August 2016
Newfoundland’s Ediacaran biota gets World Heritage status
|From seabed to seabed – the Ediacaran age strata of Newfoundland’s Mistaken Point were originally deposited on the seabed some 565 million years ago and are now being worn away by Atlantic waves. (photo courtesy of Dr Emily Mitchel)|
Coincidentally this will be the subject of a lecture given by Dr Liu at Bath on November 3 and at WEGA in 2017
Rainbow cake mountains show stunning slices of colour
I suspect the colours have been improved (note the pinkish tinge to the road!) but it is one of the places I would like to go to!
Tuesday, 9 August 2016
30+ Photos That Prove Being A Geologist Is The Best Job In The World
Some nice photos. And, from my experience, not wholly inaccurate.
Is this the first deep soil?
This article discusses a paper describing something which looks like a deep soil but formed before the development of trees.
Saturday, 6 August 2016
Implications of Jade Axe Heads, from the Italian Alps, found in Scotland
Friday, 5 August 2016
Visualisation of Plate Tectonics
Geomythology: Can geologists relate ancient stories of great floods to real events?
This article gives a longer perspective on the previous (or following - it depends how you look at it!) article. And it is very interesting in its own right!