Sunday, 31 December 2017

Understanding Geological Maps

A New Course from Nick Chidlaw

Nick writes:-

Those studying geology, either formally or informally, sooner or later are likely to come across published geological maps and these, although often visually impressive with their variety of colours and complexity of drawn lines, can be daunting to interpret. This proposed course focuses on a number of key geological structural settings, familiarising attendees with these, and so enabling them to recognise similar settings on geological maps they may come across in the future; the course equally shows attendees how to elucidate from the maps the succession of processes that affected the rocks in these structural settings, thereby outlining their geological history.


The course would be suitable for those with a basic overall geological knowledge; those with greater knowledge would also be welcome to attend. Attendance on the course should provide those present with confidence in successfully interpreting parts of many geological maps in the future, and so broaden their understanding of this key form of geological data communication.



Venue for the course
The Chantry, Thornbury, in South Gloucestershire. This is an excellent venue I have used for a number of indoor courses before.

Proposed dates
Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th March 2018

Tuition fee per person
£45.00 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:

                                                    Thursday 1st February 

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 Saturday 17th February.  

Accommodation
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. 

Many thanks for your attention to this proposal. 
If you have any queries, do let me know.


Hope to hear from you soon.

Steve Sparks knighted!

Steve Sparks Knighted!

The citation reads:-

Professor Robert Stephen John SPARKS, CBE                                                     
Lately Professorial Research Fellow, University of Bristol. For services to Volcanology and
Geology.

(Bristol)



Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Crochet and Climate Change

Using Crochet to Demonstrate Climate Change

If you can't think of a pattern to crochet look at your local temperature records!



The bed cover above inspired a professor at Penn State to put up the following poster at the recent 2017 AGU (American Geophysical Union) Meeting. It shows the highest temperature of each day from January to April in Philidelphia in 1917, 1967 and 2017. The differences are obvious!



Finding daily historical records for Bristol is difficult unless you go into the depths of the Met Office - I looked and was immediately out of my depth!

Recent data can be got from Totterdown! See HERE, but you might need to contact Barry by email to get some earlier years.

I have been in contact with Barry and he writes:-

Hello Graeme

A very interesting look at weather data!

I am pleased you have shared your site as I am a keen walker and love geology (not that I know a lot).

If you want more historical data from my site have a look here http://www.bristolweather.org/Historical.htm and feel free to help yourself. I don’t think anybody should own important data.

Acknowledgement of the source is all I ask.

Thank you

Barry

Barry_Horton@blueyonder.co.uk







Friday, 15 December 2017

Next week 18th December 2017 to 7th January 2018

NEXT WEEKS EVENTS
18th December 2017 to 7th January 2018

The following is an extract from Bristol Geology Calendar

More details can be found in the Calendar and on the web sites of the relevant Society or organisation.


All Week (except Monday)

10:00
 Bristol City Museum - Pliosaurus!
WhenSun, 13 August 2017 to Sunday 7th January, 2018. 10:00 – 17:00
WhereBristol Museum & Art Gallery (map)
DescriptionTravel back in time 150 million years and dive into Bristol’s Jurassic seas.


  
Monday 18th

Dave Green's Annual Geological Reunion Dinner
When
Mon, 18 December, 19:30 – 21:30
Where
Watersmeet, Hartpury (map)


Tuesday 19th

SMFS Evening Meeting
When
Tue, 19 December, 19:30 – 22:00
Where
Friends’ Meeting House, Ordnance Road, Southampton, SO15 2AZ (map)
Description
Recenseo Annus, a review of the SMFS year 2017 with Gary Morse.

Members’ Display Table: Minerals & fossils you have received as presents.


Wednesday 20th




Thursday 21st


Thornbury Geology Group, 7.30pm, The Chantry, Thornbury
When
Thu, 21 December, 19:00 – 21:30
Description
Thornbury Geology Group, 7.30pm at The Chantry, Thornbury, and every 3rd Thursday in the month.  


Friday 22nd to Sunday 7th January 2018

NOTHING!!! (except the Pliosaurs)


First Alert - GeoWeek

GeoWeek - Active Geoscience Week

The following has been forwarded to me by Stephen Hannath. This is the sort of thing we should be interested in doing!

Dear Geoscience Colleague,

 Thank you so much for voting in our recent survey for the best week next year to undertake a nationwide geoscience outreach initiative, and the best name for the initiative. You were one of the 137 people who took part in the survey.

 The most popular name by far, with more than a third of the votes was 'GeoWeek'. Two dates were neck and neck, but as one was in the May half term holiday, we went for the other, which is Saturday 5th May to Sun 13th May, 2018.

 Following discussions at the Earth Science Teachers 'Association Council meeting, we have chosen the strapline, 'Active geoscience week'.

 As you know, our initiative seeks to introduce as many members of the public to geoscience as possible, mainly through outdoor activities such as urban, rural or coastal fieldwork. So, we hope you or your group will set up a field visit during the nine-day 'week'. Different strategies you might consider include:

  • planning a 'normal' geoscience fieldtrip locally
  • planning a 'normal' geoscience fieldtrip locally - but also making some of the sites into Earthcache sites, for others to enjoy later
  • stationing people at a number of sites of geoscience interest in the area, and giving members of the public a map and a 'passport' to help them to find, and find out about, as many of the sites as possible
  • your own innovative strategy
  • Whatever you decide, please let us know, to help us to monitor and research the activity around the country. With your help, we may be able to emulate the Spanish Geolodays initiative that takes 10,000 members of the public on fieldwork on one day each year!

 Please note:
  •          GeoWeek does not carry any funding.
  •          Please ensure that your activity is insured, either by your institutional insurance or through the Geologists’ Association insurance scheme.
  •          If your fieldtrip is to a distant site, you or your organisation will have to cover transportation costs.
  •          Please use the GeoWeek logo in your publicity, and publicise your event(s) as widely as possible.
  •          We see 2018 as a pilot year, and hope our learning through this pilot year will boost the initiative in the years ahead.
  •          Please circulate this information, through the attached document, as widely as possible.

 With thanks and best wishes,

 Chris King and John Stevenson, the Earth Science Education Forum (www.bgs.ac.uk/esef/).

What has a new island to do with Mars?

The Story Behind the World's Youngest Island

Many of you will have seen the BBC's story about the world's youngest island - Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai.

A little googling got me the story about how it is important to research on Mars - and in easily consumable video form! The full size video can be found HERE.



Saturday, 9 December 2017

Next week 11th to 17th December 2017

NEXT WEEKS EVENTS
11th to 17th December 2017

The following is an extract from Bristol Geology Calendar

More details can be found in the Calendar and on the web sites of the relevant Society or organisation.


All Week (except Monday)

10:00
 Bristol City Museum - Pliosaurus!
WhenSun, 13 August, 10:00 – 17:00
WhereBristol Museum & Art Gallery (map)
DescriptionTravel back in time 150 million years and dive into Bristol’s Jurassic seas.


  
Monday 11th




Tuesday 12th

WEGA - Special General Meeting and Party
When
Tue, 12 December, 19:30 – 21:00
Description
A Special General Meeting of WEGA is convened for December 12th 2017. 

NOTE: This SGM will take the place of the planned lecture by Dr N. Moles, which is re-arranged for January 9th 2018.

This SGM is in place of the April 2017 AGM, which did not take place because there were insufficient numbers to make it quorate.

The meeting will consider the items given on the attached agenda.

Following the close of the meeting the outgoing Chair will reminisce on former field trips that will be linked with a quiz. The evening will close with a complimentary Xmas cheese and wine party, with mince pies and bread pudding!



WEGA

The West of England group of the Geologists’ Association
Agenda for Special General Meeting of Tuesday 12th December, 2017 at Earth Sciences Department, Bristol University at 7:30 

1. Apologies for Absence
2. Adoption of minutes of AGM Meeting 2016

3. Outgoing Chair’s Report 

4. Outgoing Secretary’s Report 

5. Treasurer’s Report 

6. Adoption of changes to the constitution to reflect the present position of the Group

7. The role of the Student talks in the Lecture programme
8. Election of New Committee
Nominations received:

Chair: Mary Lee nominated DR & KS
Secretary: Fylff Mclaren nominated JH & ML

The following members are available for election:

Mary Lee - Chair - nomination
Fflyff Mclaren - Secretary - nomination
Vacancy - Field secretary
Judith Hible - Treasurer – re-election
Graeme Churchard - Newsletter Editor – re-election
Janet Hellen - Member – re-election
Bobby Oliver - Member – re-election

No other nominations have been received for any officer member 

10. Any Other Business

Following the close of the meeting, the outgoing Chair will reminisce on former field trips that will be linked with a quiz. The evening will close with a complimentary Xmas cheese and wine party, with mince pies and bread pudding!


Wednesday 13th




Thursday 14th




Friday 15th




Saturday 16th




Sunday 17th






Friday, 8 December 2017

Wiltshire Geology Group in the field

Bradford-on-Avon site maintenance 25/11/17


A fine, if cold, morning was spent removing leaves and clay, washed-down from the sides of the pit, to uncover a ‘hard-ground’ limestone seafloor in the Forest Marble Formation.  The latter is made up of alternating limestones and clays.  The surface is very uneven and, because it was solid, a diverse assemblage of bottom-dwelling sea creatures lived there until they were entombed by an influx of clay (The Bradford Clay).  An earthquake may have triggered slumping of a nearby clay deposit, resulting in a turbidity current which, as the mud settled, buried the fauna in situ 165 million years ago - see diagram below (d) & (e).

Twelve people came along to help, from the Bath Geological Society and the WGG, which was great – any more and the pit would have been too crowded!

Thanks to everyone and in particular to Sam Medworth, who sieved some of the clay at home and sent these brilliant photos of a selection of fossils: brachiopods, sponges, echinoid spines, fish vertebrae and a sea-lily stem ossicle he found!





















Friday, 1 December 2017

Next week 4th to 10th December 2017

NEXT WEEKS EVENTS
4th to 10th December 2017

The following is an extract from Bristol Geology Calendar

More details can be found in the Calendar and on the web sites of the relevant Society or organisation.


All Week (except Monday)

10:00
 Bristol City Museum - Pliosaurus!
WhenSun, 13 August, 10:00 – 17:00
WhereBristol Museum & Art Gallery (map)
DescriptionTravel back in time 150 million years and dive into Bristol’s Jurassic seas.


  
Monday 4th

Field Course: The Devonian Geology of DevonWhen1 – 4 Dec 2017WhereDevon! (map)DescriptionA long weekend course (1st-4th December) to examine the record left in the “type” area. Hopefully we will visit both north and south Devon (and maybe stray into Cornwall) to look at evidence for environmental conditions and change, so different to the Old Red Sandstone continent lying to the north of what is now the Bristol Channel.
Contact Dave Green, Joys Green Farm, Forge Hill, Lydbrook, Glos GL17 9QU Tel 01594 860858davegeostudies@gmail.com

Dave Green - The Devonian Period
When
Mon, 20 November, 19:30 – 21:30
Where
Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester (map)
Description
The Devonian Period 419 to 358 million years ago, this period (whose existence was hotly disputed by Sedgwick and Murchison in the 1820s and 30s) saw the amalgamation of two parts of Britain (but strangely not including Devon!), the emergence of widespread land vegetation, closely followed by insects and terrestrial tetrapods. A major extinction, of disputed origin, wiped out a large proportion of life towards the end of the period. Half the world consisted of a vast ocean (Panthalassa), which, like the modern Pacific, was gradually being destroyed by subduction, in favour of the Rheic and PalaeoTethyian Oceans. Starts Mon 18th September for 10 weeks (not 16th or 23rd Oct), until 4th December Held at Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester from 7.30-9.30pm on Mondays. Cost £70 (including tea, coffee etc at breaktime!).
Contact Dave Green, Joys Green Farm, Forge Hill, Lydbrook, Glos GL17 9QU Tel 01594 860858
davegeostudies@gmail.com


Tuesday 5th


Geol Soc Western - Meeting
When
Tue, 5 December, 18:00 – 20:00
Where
TBC (map)
Description
Christmas Social/Fieldtrip


Wednesday 6th

South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group Talk
When
Wed, 6 December, 19:30 – 22:00
Where
Miners Institute (aka Coalpit Heath Village Hall), 214 Badmington Rd, Coalpit Heath, BS36 2QB (map)
Description
Talk 4

Contact Roger Gosling  01454 883607



Thursday 7th

Bath Geol Soc Lecture - 'S-cubed' … … and beyondWhenThu, 7 December, 19:15 – 20:45WhereBath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 Queen Square, Bath (map)Description'S-cubed' … … and beyond
Dr Andy King, Director & Principal Geologist, Geckoella Ltd
In many parts of England, the extraction of building stone has long ceased, and many original source quarries have closed or been lost. Consequently, obtaining detailed information on distinctive local stones (or suitable alternatives), their source and use for historic building or conservation purposes is often difficult.
The Strategic Stone Study (‘S-cubed’) is the first country-wide comprehensive study undertaken of England’s buildings stones, their use in vernacular buildings and the identification of historic source quarries. Initially developed by Historic England (formerly English Heritage) as a response to difficulties sourcing suitable replacement stone for historic buildings, the study aims to provide freely accessible (on-line) data for anyone involved in sourcing stone for this purpose. Working with the British Geological Survey, the study has also involved local geologists and heritage building specialists.
This presentation explains the background that led to ‘S-cubed’, its subsequent development and the roll out of the latest features including interactive County Atlases and datasets with GIS search facilities. A series of recent case studies also demonstrate how data from ‘S-cubed’ can be used to further promote England’s building stones, to safeguard their future (for example by informing Mineral Safeguarding Areas) and help develop pragmatic approaches to the (re)opening of small scale building stone source quarries through local mineral planning policies.



Friday 8th

Cheltenham MGS Lecture - Sale, Quiz, and Raffle
When
Fri, 8 December, 19:00 – 21:00
Where
Shurdington at The Century Hall (map)
Description
 Sale, Quiz, and Raffle      



Saturday 9th




Sunday 10th






Unlikely places

Volcanic Ice Caves - You Couldn't Make It Up!

Atop Mount Rainier in Washington State there are glaciers. There are also fumaroles. The fumaroles have excavated (or melted) several kilometres of tunnels which are being used as analogues for Jupiter's moon Europa.

This article describes the work being undertaken to understand the caves and their use to develop rovers to travel across rugged icy terrain. 

The bit that intrigued me was the news that litter left by the relatively few people who get to the top of Mount Rainier, takes ten to fifteen years to travel through the ice and fall into the caves!

Collecting soil samples for microbial analysis in an ice cave near the summit of Mount Rainier

My picture of Mount Rainier, taken at the end of May 2016

Pterosaur eggs eggsamined (sorry about that - couldn't resist)

Did Hamipterus Chicks Fly when Hatched? - NO

The recent finding of large numbers of fossilised pterosaur eggs in China has allowed research into their embryology to take place. The pterosaur is Hamipterus which lived in the early Cretaceous. 

The research, reported by a Bristol researcher HERE, indicates that the ends of the wing bones were not fully developed suggesting that areas for major muscle attachments were absent and therefore the muscles were not developed. So forget "flaplings". Presumably the parent(s) fed them in the nest.

Hamipterus eggs

The obligatory scary flying dinosaur picture