Tuesday 30 June 2015

What's really warming the world?

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Significance of bizarre exteinct creature revealed

A bizarre extinct creature that has mystified scientists since its 500m-year fossil was first unearthed more than a century ago has finally revealed its teeth – placing it centre stage in the evolution of many complex life-forms living today.
Hallucigenia, which owes its name to its unworldly appearance, was so odd that scientists initially confused its top from its bottom and its head from its tail. However, a study has now unequivocally identified its mouth, complete with a fearsome ring of sharp teeth.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have also identified a pair of simple eyes on Hallucigenia’s head and have determined that it was a close relative of the last common ancestor of everything from tiny velvet roundworms to huge lobsters.
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Wednesday 24 June 2015

June 27th - Bicentenary celebration of William Smith and local history, Timsbury

July 2nd - Global greenhouse event 55 million years ago

The Paleocene - Eocene thermal maximum: a geological insight into what is to come?
Dr. Stephen Grimes, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University
July 2nd, 7.30p.m.
The Paleocene - Eocene thermal maximum is a global greenhouse event that happened approximately 55 million years ago. This talk will explore the causes of this event and the impact it had upon the global biota and whether it can provide insights into what may happen if current global climate change continues unchecked.
7.30 p.m. BRLSI, 16 Queen Square, Bath
Everyone welcome, visitors £4, free refreshments
Bath Geological Society

Mini ice age?

Mini Ice Age may be heading our way! Met Office issues warning that temperatures could plummet as Sun enters cooler phase. The last big chill was felt hundreds of years ago when Frost Fairs were held on the frozen River Thames. The prediction is based on counting sun spots – dark patches on the sun – that are hot spots and signs of increased solar activity.
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Monday 22 June 2015

William Smith Bicentenary Lectures

FREE tickets for lectures at Bristol Uni are now available to book - click here
William Smith Bicentenary Lectures
Great Hall, Will Memorial Building, University of Bristol

Lectures are free, but tickets must be pre-booked
7 October 2015 - Professor Iain Stewart, 7pm
Underground Britain: the story of what's under our feet, and why it matters
14 October 2015 - Simon Winchester, 7pm
21 October 2015 - Professor John Grotzinger, 7pm
Geological Mapping of Mars with Orbiters and the Curiosity Rover
28 October 2015 - Professor Richard Fortey, 7pm

Tuesday 9 June 2015

July 4th - Black Mountain, western Brecon Beacons

Just a few places left on the coach for this exciting Bath Geological Society field trip to be led by one of our favourite leaders, Dr. Geraint Owen from Swansea University!
The coach is picking up as follows:-
7.55 am. Leave Keynsham Football Club
8.05 am. Leave Bath Newbridge Park and Ride
8.10 am Leave Bath Queens Square
8.30 am  Leave Box Pharmacy
10.45 am ETA Brynammom:
3.30 Anticipated Return
Please email the field secretary to book your place as soon as possible.
Cost £25
The Black Mountain (Mynydd Du) is the western part of the Brecon Beacons. It lies within the Fforest Fawr Geopark and the Brecon Beacons National Park and is traversed by the Beacons Way. The geology comprises gently southward-dipping Palaeozoic strata on the north side (“North Crop”) of the South Wales Coalfield, ranging in age from late Silurian to late Carboniferous. As befits its location within the National Park, the area is scenically attractive, with extensive views to the south over the industrialised South Wales Coalfield and to the north into rural mid Wales. Although outside the area of coal-bearing rocks, the area contains an important legacy of extractive industries and associated infrastructure.
Several sites will be visited and the ground conditions may be rough and wet underfoot in places. Bring warm, waterproof clothing and sturdy, waterproof footwear. Please bring a packed lunch. Safety helmets are advisable at one site.
Further details and suggested reading list are available on request from the Society.

Vallis Vale, de la Beche unconformity SSSI

Alan Holiday and a couple of others from the Dorset Group did some conservation work on the de la Beche site in Vallis Vale, near Frome.

As you can see they did an incredibly good job.
Alan writes that as they were there there were at least a dozen young people camping. They were curious as to what we were doing and had no idea about the geology or the significance of the site. It seems strange that there is no indication this is an SSSI and its geological importance so people might treat the site with more respect. Needless to say they cleared up a some rubbish.
Those of us who use the site are indebted to them; thank you all!

Sunday 7 June 2015

9th June - 24th July - Geology and Landscape of Gloucestershire and surroundings

Geology and Landscape of Gloucestershire and surroundings
A weekly field-based introductory course.
No previous knowledge of geology is assumed
Tuesday evenings 9th June to 21st July 2015
Gloucestershire is one of the most geologically diverse counties in Britain.
The aim of this field-based course is to take you towards an understanding of local scenery.  We will look at the components, the highly diverse rocks and their structure; and processes, weathering, slope forming and erosion which have combined to produce this equally varied landscape, the materials from which the scenery has been sculpted and the processes that have acted upon them since the area emerged from the sea 65 million years ago (about the same time that the dinosaurs became extinct).
No special equipment is necessary, apart from stout footwear and possibly waterproofs - although we will hopefully have six balmy  summer evenings! Meetings are held on Tuesdays each week, meeting at 7.00 pm, finishing at 9.00 pm or later (whenever the party feels in need of refreshment !!) at the following meeting points (see over)
Cost: £50 for 7 week course or £9 per session
For further details telephone Dave Green on 01594 860858 or email.

Friday 5 June 2015

June 14th - Geology of Box, Wiltshire

Box: landscape, rocks and fossils with Elizabeth Devon
14th June, 2.15 Selwyn Hall car park, Box.
The walk will start from the Selwyn Hall car park in Box. After a visit to the nearby Box Rock Circus, we will make our way to the River Bybrook and so to St. Thomas a Becket Church. We shall then walk through the village identifying rocks and fossils en route. We then proceed (slowly) up the sequence of rock types in the valley to Quarry Woods. The views are spectacular and the geology is very clear. In Quarry Woods we will consider the quarrying industry. From here, our walk will take us down over fields to the Millennium sculpture in Lacy Wood and then to the view point of Brunel's famous Box Tunnel. We shall return via footpaths to the recreation ground and so to the Selwyn Hall car park. If time allows, we shall then use the 'Climate through Time' poster to put what we have seen on the walk into perspective. Copies of the poster and a hand-out will be available.
Booking essential - Corsham Walking Festival

Wednesday 3 June 2015

William Smith celebrations in Bath

4th June - lecture at BRLSI by Prof. Hugh Torrens for Bath Geological Society
6th June - field trip led by Prof. Hugh Torrens for the Geologists' Association
13th June - field trip led by Dr. David Workman for Bath Geological Society