Saturday, 1 February 2020

3rd to 9th February 2020


3rd to 9th February 2020




Geostudies Lecture Course - Germany
Mon, 3 February, 19:30 – 21:30
Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester (map)
The Geology of Germany 

 Monday 13th for 10 weeks (not 17th Feb) until 23rd  March. Held at Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester from 7.30 - 9.30pm on Mondays. 

Like Britain, Germany consists of a number of exotic Terranes, derived from different continents and amalgamated together by plate tectonic collisions. Northern Germany is part of Avalonia, which amalgamated with the East European Craton (Baltica) along the Tornquist suture in the east. A great deal of this area is plastered by thick Quaternary glacial sediments. 

Central Germany is part of Armorica, which collided with the north during the Variscan orogeny. There is, in places, thick Mesozoic unconformable cover. The extreme south is part of the Alpine orogeny, but its effects were transmitted northwards to affect and reactivate older structures. There was extensive volcanic activity during the Tertiary, and some famous asteroid impact sites. 

Cost £75

tuesday 4th

wednesday 5th

thursday 6th

Bath Geol Soc - AGM and Lecture
Thu, 6 February, 19:00 – 21:00
16 Queen Square, Bath at the kind invitation of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientfic Institution. (map)
Annual General Meeting, 2019
AGM will start at 7.00 p.m. followed by the lecture at 7.30p.m. Please note that the AGM is for members only. Visitors are welcome to attend the evening's lecture.
Did Ocean Acidification kill off Calcifiers at the end of the Cretaceous?
Prof. Toby Tyrrell, University of Southampton
Ammonites went extinct at the time of the end-Cretaceous asteroid impact, as did more than 90% of species of calcium carbonate-shelled plankton (coccolithophores and foraminifera).Comparable groups not possessing calcium carbonate shells were less severely affected, raising the possibility that ocean acidification, as a side effect of the collision, might have been responsible for the apparent selectivity of the extinctions (calcium carbonate dissolves in even slightly acidic seawater). We investigated whether ocean acidification could have caused the disappearance of the calcifying organisms. I will describe the results of some modelling work we carried out. We simulated various scenarios for how the impact could have produced more acidic seawater (different possible mechanisms from impact to acidity). The results suggest that, although acidification was quite extreme in some scenarios, nevertheless it was probably not the primary reason why so many calcifiers went extinct.

Geostudies Lecture - Uniformitarianism
Thu, 6 February, 19:30 – 21:30
The Chantry, Thornbury (map)

The Limits of Uniformitarianism.

The science of geology is heavily dependent on the principle of uniformitarianism – the idea  that geological conditions and processes have remained substantially unchanged through geological time, meaning that we can interpret the past on the basis of our understanding of the geological present. But how accurate is this principle? To what extent were conditions and processes different in the past? Are present conditions and processes typical? How well do we understand present processes? And there are also spatial features to consider; A casual examination of a modern sedimentary or volcanic environment reveals rapid and wide-ranging changes in facies over a small area. Our evidence of past environments is largely based on small, possibly unrepresentative, exposures of tiny fractions of those past environments. Are we justified in using evidence from the past to interpret the present and future, such as climate change?  Held at The Chantry, Thornbury, in the Hanover Room.  First meeting 7.30 – 9.30, Thurs 16th  January until April 2nd  (not Thurs 20th Feb or 19th March). Cost £75


What do we mean by Uniformitarianism? Origin of the term and the historical context in which it arose and developed as a counter to “Old” Catastrophism.

What are the main problems with Uniformitarianism? The rise of “New” Catastrophism in the later part of the 20th century. Problems of direction, cyclicity, punctuation, gradualism in the following fields of geology:

Uniformitarianism and sedimentation. Have conditions changed over geological time? How representative in terms of coverage and completeness is the sedimentary record?

Uniformitarianism and volcanicity, earthquakes, intrusion and landslides

Uniformitarianism and the solar system – external processes affecting earth geology

Uniformitarianism and major environmental change (such as climate and sea level changes)

Uniformitarianism, evolution and mass extinction  

Uniformitarianism and tectonics – was plate tectonics a relatively young development? Is the Wilson (supercontinent) Cycle real?

Geomorphology and Uniformitarianism

Is the present the key to the past? (or in reverse?)

friday 7th

saturday 8th

sunday 9th

OUGS Severnside - AGM and Talks
Sun, 9 February, 10:00 – 16:00
: Langstone Village Hall, Old Chepstow Road, Langstone, Newport NP18 2ND, South Wales (map)

Branch Annual General Meeting

Branch AGM followed by a number of short talks from members.

This is a winter social event for our branch members.

Doors open at 10 am, and the AGM itself will start at 11 am. This will include a short presentation describing the various events we held during 2019.

Tea and coffee will be available throughout the day. A buffet lunch will be provided after the AGM, but you are welcome to bring your own packed lunch. Please note that there is no charge for this event.

After lunch we will have a number of short talks from members. We would love to hear from anyone who would like to give a talk about their own geology visits, for example while on holiday. There will be a projector available if you wish to show some photos or provide a short presentation (eg in Powerpoint), although a talk with some rock specimens only would be equally welcome. A talk can be quite brief and should not exceed 15-20 minutes. Please contact Norman (details below) if you would like to share your geological experiences with other members.

The branch library will be available throughout the day and you will be able to borrow geology-related books from its large collection, as well as return any books borrowed previously.

Please let Norman know if you plan to attend (details below) so that we can ensure sufficient food and drink are provided for everyone.

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