Monday 30 September 2013

FREE textbook - Earth's Dynamic System

This textbook is available FREE on-line
Click HERE

Very Temporary Exposure in Clifton, Bristol

Bristol NATS Geology has just received notice of a very temporary exposure in Clifton, Bristol.
It is described as follows " . . . looks to be Westbury Beds, sitting on Norian red marls and then on Carb Limestone . . . a really exciting exposure that would be important for someone(s) to visit and log the sequence and collect fossils from the Westbury (if that what it is). looking at the geological map only the Mercia Mudstone Group is depicted at that locality . . . finding Westbury would be important---notwithstanding the fact that it overlies red marls on Carb Lst . . . maybe the shoreline of a Triassic island.
Anyone interested in investigating? Please get in touch directly on 07789 507460  or 0117 973 2028
Please note: This is urgent - Must be done in the next couple of days. The site is private, and a building site, so access is extremely limited.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Pakistan Earthquake creates new island in the sea

A major earthquake that hit a remote part of western Pakistan killing at least 200 people has also created a new island just off the country's southern coast.
From the United States Geological Survey - 7.7 magnitude quake struck 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's quake-prone province of Baluchistan, which borders Iran.
The earthquake was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mud volcano island about 600 meters off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea. Television channels showed images of a stretch of terrain rising above the sea level, with a crowd of bewildered people gathering on the shore to witness the rare phenomenon.
Officials said scores of mud houses were destroyed by aftershocks in the thinly populated mountainous area near the quake epicenter in Baluchistan, a huge barren province of deserts and rugged mountains.
Read more

Monday 23 September 2013

West Country Geology Field trip to SW USA, 2014

Geology of the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Province in the SW USA.
To date the number of people expressing a strong interest in this trip is close to it being viable.
In order to provide more information about the trip and hopefully to attract further interest, I have arranged a meeting for Sunday 6th October.  I will give an introductory lecture on the Geology of the western USA, followed by an overview of the planned route, with geology and road maps of the area on display, plus opportunity to ask questions about any part of the trip. Thus, if you have a potential interest in the trip and the geology of the area, then please come along to the meeting.
A link to download further details about the trip (costing, route, itinerary) is available via 'Next year's field trips' on the Bath Geological Society web site
The meeting on Sunday 6th October at 13:00, will take two to three hours, and be held in the village hall (BA5 1BA) in Wookey Hole (where I live). Free parking is available in the Wookey Hole Caves car park adjacent to the village hall. There would be a small charge to cover room booking and to provide tea and coffee (~ £1-2 per person). People might also wish to make a day of it and visit Wells city, or even the Wookey Hole caves?
If you wish to attend, please email me, so I have an idea of numbers. I will send a map showing the position of the village hall, closer to the time for those attending.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Clearance at Tedbury Camp

Alan Holiday sent the photos. He says that the work party had a good session at yesterday. A party of 15 worked on the rock faces as well as the steps leading to the site. We have visited the site in 2009 and 2011 and it seemed to me that this time work was a bit easier because of earlier sessions. The group also benefited from having three brush cutters and a chainsaw which facilitated clearing work. I think this again shows the benefit of having a group of committed individuals who are also interested in what they are doing (making the geology accessible). Some of the walkers going through the site were interested in what we were doing but were completely unaware of the geological significance of the site. There is clearly a need for raising awareness.
The session goes on tomorrow too.

Gold from outer space?

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Wednesday 18 September 2013

Mary Anning - Mother of Palaeontology

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There is a very good Earthlearningidea activity; go to 'search categories' on the home page and then select 'Evolution of Life'. Click here if you wish to download the pdf directly.

Saturday 14 September 2013

Mike Benton, mass extinctions and Bristol Dinosaur Project

Prof Mike Benton from Earth Sciences at Bristol was on The Life Scientific on BBC radio this week. The programme is available via the BBC iPlayer
Life on earth has gone through a series of mass extinctions. Mike Benton talks about his fascination with ancient life on the planet and his work on the Bristol Dinosaur Project.

Friday 13 September 2013

Clearance at Tedbury Camp - 18th - 20th September

The quarry faces and access steps at Tedbury Camp are now quite overgrown, with the quarry floor and SW perimeter also suffering from littering and camp fire debris. The rate of regeneration of silver birch and buddleia is staggering but, as always, it's the littering that's most annoying. Compared to its pristine condition a couple of years ago the situation is rather depressing.
 However, I'm confident that this can be remedied with our planned restoration campaign on Wednesday 18th - Friday 20th September 2013. If you know of any volunteer groups or individuals who may be prepared to roll up their sleeves during that period, I'd be delighted to hear from them. There are sufficient jobs to suit all tastes and energy levels. If you can bring some hand tools, such as a branch lopper, small spade, wire rake, secateurs, pruning saw, trowel or stiff-bristled brush, that would be very helpful. Tools with a bit more muscle - petrol-driven strimmers, hedge trimmers or chain saws - command an extra chocolate biscuit! Gardening gloves, a stout plastic rubbish bag and a bite to eat are essential, as is an ability to drink tea and eat biscuits ...
Some people will come for the three days, others will drop in for a few hours, but any level of support will be much appreciated. Access details are available on the website and day visitors can park at Fordbury Bottom (ST 749 492) and walk to the site.
For camping details or any queries please email.

Arctic sea ice and misleading data

No, the world isn't cooling.
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Monday 9 September 2013

De la Beche, Vallis Vale site AFTER clearance

Many thanks to everyone who helped to clear this important site yesterday. You can see from the photos that it is much improved.
At the start:-
Nearly finished:-
The happy volunteers:-

Sunday 8 September 2013

Global warming or cooling?

There has been a 60 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, the equivalent of almost a million square miles.
In a rebound from 2012's record low an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin.
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes.
Read more. 

AND YET - from another newspaper
Arctic sea ice delusions strike the Mail on Sunday and Telegraph
Read more.

Largest volcano on Earth

At a size equivalent to the state of New Mexico or British Isles, the underwater shield volcano known as Tamu Massif is the largest individual volcano ever documented on Earth, according to new research to be published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The underwater behemoth is nearly as big as the giant volcanoes on the surface of Mars, making it not only the largest on Earth, but among the largest in the solar system.
Estimated to be 145 million years old, Tamu Massif's summit is located beneath about 6,500 feet of water in the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000 miles off the east coast of Japan. Parts of its base are believed to be in waters almost four miles deep.
Read more.

Rock fall and lucky escape

Monday 2 September 2013

Mendip Geology

Mendip Geology - this trip involving a ~ 4 hour walk from Wookey Hole to Wells has proved popular, and over subscribed, so an additional walk has been arranged for Saturday 5th October. The details are the same as posted for the original walk, and there are places available.
Click on 'September' on 'This year's field trips' page on the Bath Geological Society website to reserve your place on 5th October.