Monday 31 December 2012

Natural gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking)

Click here for more information.

Bath Geological Society has a talk about fracking on April 4th 2013. The full programme is available on the website.

Friday 21 December 2012

New app for iPads - NHM Evolution

As its name suggests, the app is validated by the Natural History Museum, London. However, what the name does not really indicate is that it is essentially a history of life, mostly focussing on the last 635 million years since Ediacaran times. It is based on a book written by Douglas C. Palmer in 2009, also endorsed by the Natural History Museum. The core of the app is a running sequence of 100 reconstructions of past scenes based on specific sites and populated with over 800 named and described organisms, so it provides quite a good coverage of macroevolution in both marine and terrestrial environments.
The app also has a number of other features and one of the most important of these is a spinnable timeglobe, which uses Dr Alan Smith’s well known Timetrek programme. Plate motion since Ediacaran times can be tracked and manipulated with the globe turned and expanded.

Thursday 20 December 2012

9th January - Conference at University of Bath

Free Microscopy and spectroscopy conference with some really good geology-related talks, e.g. Chemical ghosts in the Fossil Record.
Email to register.

Early Career Geologist Award and Photographic Competition

The Geological Society Western Regional Group
Early Career Geologist Award 2013
Western Regional Group Photo Competition
Further details

China uses geology to challenge Japan on disputed islands

After making its first aerial incursion into Japanese-controlled airspace near disputed islands, China compounded tensions with Japan by bolstering its territorial claims at the United Nations. On Dec. 14, two days before elections in Japan, China submitted to the world body an 11-page report citing the continental shelf's geology to claim ownership of the islands in the East China Sea, which may be surrounded by undersea oil and natural gas fields. "Physiognomy and geological characteristics show that the continental shelf in the East China Sea is the natural prolongation of China's land territory," China said. On that basis, China extends its claim to resource rights beyond the standard 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.
Read more

Friday 14 December 2012

8th January - Volcanic Terrains across the Solar System

Mapping the Volcanic Terrains across the Solar System
8th January
Dr. Ellen Stofan
6.30 - 7.30 p.m.
Rosalind Franklin Room, At-Bristol
Many planets and moons of our solar system show evidence of volcanic eruptions. The early missions to the Moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury were truly missions of discovery, with great debates in the scientific community on the roles of impacts and volcanic eruptions in shaping their surfaces.
Discover how these alien volcanic features are mapped and interpreted with knowledge and techniques developed from studies of volcanoes on Earth. A perfect way to celebrate BBC Stargazing Live.  
This is a free lecture, suitable for over 12s, and is supported by the University of Bristol.
Book your place!
Book on-line or 'phone 0845 4586499 (working hours)

Monday 10 December 2012

Shale Gas

Blackpool shale gas deposit is 50% larger than first thought.
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Tribute to Patrick Moore

Click here to see The Geological Society's favourite Patrick YouTube outing.

Sunday 9 December 2012

Saturday 8 December 2012

Huge cracks on the Moon

Ebb and Flow, the twin spacecraft that comprise NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, have created a gravity map and other analyses of the moon, and it seems that it is riven by deep cracks. The gravity map reveals an abundance of features never before seen in detail, such as tectonic structures, volcanic landforms, basin rings, crater central peaks and numerous simple, bowl-shaped craters. The map also reveals evidence for fracturing of the interior extending to the deep crust and possibly the mantle. The Moon's crust has an average thickness of between 21 and 27 miles (34 and 43 kilometres), which is about 6 to 12 miles (10 to 20 kilometres) thinner than previously thought.

Oldest known dinosaur?

Palaeontologists have found what is likely to be the oldest known dinosaur, filling in an evolutionary gap. Nyasasaurus parringtoni, a new species from 10-15 million years before the previous earliest dinosaur specimens. It walked on two legs, measured 2-3m in length with a large tail and weighed between 20 and 60kg.
Read more