Thursday, 21 October 2010

Those sedimentary features!

I have now heard that the three photos were taken in the Blue Mountains in Australia, if that helps. The tubular structures are still causing confusion - are we sure they are sedimentary?

Blockley Fossils

The final field trip to Blockley Quarry was very successful - mentioned in the post of 13th October. Lots and lots of fossils were found, some of which are illustrated. Thanks to Richard for the photos; he says the ammonite looks identical to the one on page 102 of 'British Mesozoic Fossils', i.e. Lipoceras cheltiense, but the bivalves are harder to identify. Can anyone help?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Cancellation of Mendip Volcanoes course

On 11th October a post was published regarding two 1 day courses being offered by Dr. Nicholas Chidlaw this autumn: 'Mendip Volcanoes' (Saturday 30th October) and 'Study the
New Red Desert' (Saturday 20th November).
Unfortunately, the quarry management in the large working quarry we would visit during the morning of the 'Mendip Volcanoes' course is not able to provide supervision of our party that day, and so the trip is being cancelled.
This course has been well-attended when it has been run in the past, and there has been interest show again in the last month or so; I will look into running it again next year (perhaps in the spring).
Some people have sent their tuition fee to-date, and these will be returned shortly.
Thank you for your interest in this Mendips course.

Poetry Competition

The Abberley & Malvern Hills Geopark is running a poetry competition to coincide with the 2011 Geofest and the 2011 Ledbury Poetry Festival. The 2010 Geofest was a great success, with dozens of events held between June and August and we aim to be even bigger and better
in 2011.
The poetry competition seeks entries where the subject of the poems relate either to the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark or to geology, landscape and geodiversity in general. There are several age categories and winners of each category will be invited to present their poems at the internationally renowned Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2011.
Click here for more information; you can download an entry form and a poster.
Entry to the competition is free.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Sedimentary features query

Can anyone identify these please?
Let us know what you think either on 'comments' on this blog or by email.
Please ask if you would like a better image of any of them.

Friday, 15 October 2010

British Cobalt mine?

Query from one of our readers: 'World cobalt output peaked several years ago, and there will be increasing shortages of it. I'm told that there was only one British mine which ever produced cobalt, and that in small quantities. I suspect it was in Cornwall. I'd be most grateful if anyone could tell me more about this local source.'
Please put your replies in 'comments' on this post or email.

Festival of Geology GA Photographic Competition

A great opportunity for imaginative photography!
Geology is all around us impacting on our daily life. It's in our shopping baskets, our homes, our streets as well as mountains and volcanoes, beaches and quarries.
Send us your favourite photographs (up to 3) on any geological topic taken within the last year.
These will be put on display at the Festival of Geology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT on 6 November 2010 from 10.30 - 4.30.
First Prize £100, Second Prize £50, 3rd Prize £25.
Winners' entries may be published in the Geologists' Association magazine.
Competition Rules
1. Amateur photographers only.
2. Closing date for the competition is 1st November 2010
3. Only three entries per individual.
4. Maximum size A4
5. The organisers cannot accept responsibility for entries lost or damaged in the post.
6. A signed entry form must be securely attached to the back of each entry.
7. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
8. Judging will take place and prizes will be presented at the Festival of Geology at University
College London on 6th November 2010
9. Photographic entries may be used in any future publications or publicity by the Geologists'
10. We regret that entries cannot be returned unless accompanied by an s.a.e.
More details on the GA website.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Blockley Quarry - 17th October

Did you know that from 1st November Blockley Quarry will be closed to the public?
A final trip has been organised by a member of Wiltshire Geology Group for Sunday 17th October. However, numbers are limited. If you want to go, send an email and make sure you put 'Blockley Quarry' in the subject line.
The quarry is near Moreton in the Marsh, and the cost for the day is £4. Anyone who doesn’t find a rucksack full of fossils should get new glasses!!
Visitors will need hard hats, hi viz vests and strong boots; it could be extremely muddy, so wellies might be a good idea ... and a tarpaulin to put over the car seats and in the boot.
You will definitely find fossils, and almost certainly they will be muddy - so newspaper and/or polybags might be useful. A spade is probably more use than a hammer and chisel.

GIS - Geographical Information Systems - 20th October

Bristol Naturalists' Society is organising a lecture on Wednesday October 20th
Geographical Information Systems
Dr. Andrew Skellern from Bath Spa University
Wills Memorial Building, Bristol at 7.30 p.m.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to collect, transform and display spatial data from the real world. Spatial data describe objects both in terms of their location (for example: grid reference, longitude and latitude) and their attributes (for example: age, ownership, species). Remote sensing is a subject related to GIS. It is the science of observation of the Earth's surface using images obtained from sensors on board aircraft and satellites.
Talks take place in S H Reynolds lecture theatre, Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, BS8 1RJ.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Day Courses October and November 2010

These courses are run by Dr. Nicholas Chidlaw and cost £23.00 per person - further details by email. Pre-course handouts will be available.

Mendip Volcanoes

Dayschool. Saturday 30th October. 10.00 – 5.00 pm.
In the eastern Mendips, and where these hills meet the Bristol Channel, occur rocks erupted from volcanoes during the Silurian and Carboniferous periods. On this field course, examples from both these times will be examined, enabling you to recognise ancient lavas (including submarine ‘pillow’ flows) and beds of rock once laid down as ash. Controversial lava bombs and vent rocks will be studied and discussed. A pre-course handout covering all necessary logistical and geological background information will be sent in good time to those enrolled. No prior knowledge of geology or the area will be assumed.

Study the New Red Desert
Dayschool. Saturday 20th November. 9.00 am – 4.00 pm.
This field-based course will visit several exposures of Permian and Triassic continental strata formed under an arid climate, traditionally known as the ‘New Red Sandstone’. The course aims to take attendees up through the succession from oldest to youngest, examining key changes that occurred in the sedimentary environment over time. These changes include mountain screes, dune sandstones, river sandstones and gravels, and lake deposits. You will be shown evidence for sporadic marine incursions into the desert, which became increasingly common as geological time progressed. A pre-course handout covering all necessary logistical and geological background information will be sent in good time before the course to those enrolled. No prior knowledge of geology or the area will be assumed. Located in the countryside between Gloucester and the Malvern Hills.

These privately run sessions replace those previously offered by the Lifelong Learning Centre of the University of Bristol which closed in 2009.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

News from BGS

A couple of quick announcements to coincide with our 175th Anniversary Science Symposium at the Royal Institution.
A bumper new edition of Earthwise Magazine will be published on Tuesday 28 September. UK government austerity measures mean that, along with many other public sector organisations, we need to make some savings. So until further notice we won't be printing Earthwise magazine. We hope to publish a print edition in the future, but in the meantime you can read Earthwise online.
iGeology is a new free iPhone App that lets you take a geological map of Britain with you wherever you go to help you learn about the rocks beneath your feet. And with the phone's GPS, you'll know exactly where you are. From early 2011 Android smartphone users will also be able to use iGeology.

Engineering Geology of Sustainable Risk Based Land Quality Management - 12th October

Western Regional Group of The Geological Society - Tuesday 12th October 2010, 6.00 for 6.30pm Regional Presentation of the 10th Glossop Lecture
Engineering Geology of Sustainable Risk Based Land Quality Management
Professor C. Paul Nathanail
Paul Nathanail combines research, teaching and consultancy in the roles of Professor of Engineering Geology at the University of Nottingham and Managing Director of Land Quality Management Ltd, with a focus on risk based contaminated land management and sustainable urban regeneration. He holds the Specialist in Land Condition and Chartered Geologist accreditations, as well as chairing the IAEG Commission C20: Risk Based Land Management,
represents the Geological Society on the SILC Professional and Technical Panel and is a director of the CABERNET brownfield regeneration network.
Paul will be presenting a talk based on his 2009 Glossop Lecture on applying the principals of engineering geology to sustainable risk-based contaminated land management. Focusing on the need for greater understanding of the land beneath our feet, it will include an analysis of the risk-based process currently employed in the assessment of land contamination, the development of a skills base and the benefit of applying detailed engineering geology understanding to risk evaluation.
S H Reynolds Lecture Theatre (Room G25), Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ
Refreshments will be available from 6 pm.
Further details from the website.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Dinosaur hunting - Thursday 7th October

Don't forget this Thursday's Bath Geological Society lecture 'Cretaceous Dinosaur hunting in North Africa' to be given by Dr. David Martill from Portsmouth University.
The mid Cretaceous Kem Kem deposits of Morocco, and coeval beds elsewhere in Saharan Africa have been yielding dinosaurs for nearly a century, but little science has been done on these remarkably rich deposits. This is about to change. The sequence is dominated by fluvial sandstones, but passes upwards into lacustrine mudstones and eventually becomes a series of shallow water carbonates rich in fossil shells and small fishes. The sandstones contain bone beds of worn and eroded bone fragments, but also layers with articulated remains. Some erosion surfaces are littered with dinosaur teeth and Berber children actively seek these out to sell to passing tourists in Erfoud and Rissani. We now know of at least five different theropod dinosaurs from Morocco including the gigantic Spinosaurus (image) and Carcharadontosaurus.
This talk introduces the Kem Kem dinosaurs and the environment they lived in, and provides a taste of what it is like to hunt dinosaurs in the Sahara Desert.
The talk will be held at BRLSI, 16 Queen Square, Bath at 7.30 p.m. Everyone is welcome - visitors £4.00. Free refreshments will be served after the talk.