Saturday, 9 December 2017

Next week 11th to 17th December 2017

NEXT WEEKS EVENTS
11th to 17th December 2017

The following is an extract from Bristol Geology Calendar

More details can be found in the Calendar and on the web sites of the relevant Society or organisation.


All Week (except Monday)

10:00
 Bristol City Museum - Pliosaurus!
WhenSun, 13 August, 10:00 – 17:00
WhereBristol Museum & Art Gallery (map)
DescriptionTravel back in time 150 million years and dive into Bristol’s Jurassic seas.


  
Monday 11th




Tuesday 12th

WEGA - Special General Meeting and Party
When
Tue, 12 December, 19:30 – 21:00
Description
A Special General Meeting of WEGA is convened for December 12th 2017. 

NOTE: This SGM will take the place of the planned lecture by Dr N. Moles, which is re-arranged for January 9th 2018.

This SGM is in place of the April 2017 AGM, which did not take place because there were insufficient numbers to make it quorate.

The meeting will consider the items given on the attached agenda.

Following the close of the meeting the outgoing Chair will reminisce on former field trips that will be linked with a quiz. The evening will close with a complimentary Xmas cheese and wine party, with mince pies and bread pudding!



WEGA

The West of England group of the Geologists’ Association
Agenda for Special General Meeting of Tuesday 12th December, 2017 at Earth Sciences Department, Bristol University at 7:30 

1. Apologies for Absence
2. Adoption of minutes of AGM Meeting 2016

3. Outgoing Chair’s Report 

4. Outgoing Secretary’s Report 

5. Treasurer’s Report 

6. Adoption of changes to the constitution to reflect the present position of the Group

7. The role of the Student talks in the Lecture programme
8. Election of New Committee
Nominations received:

Chair: Mary Lee nominated DR & KS
Secretary: Fylff Mclaren nominated JH & ML

The following members are available for election:

Mary Lee - Chair - nomination
Fflyff Mclaren - Secretary - nomination
Vacancy - Field secretary
Judith Hible - Treasurer – re-election
Graeme Churchard - Newsletter Editor – re-election
Janet Hellen - Member – re-election
Bobby Oliver - Member – re-election

No other nominations have been received for any officer member 

10. Any Other Business

Following the close of the meeting, the outgoing Chair will reminisce on former field trips that will be linked with a quiz. The evening will close with a complimentary Xmas cheese and wine party, with mince pies and bread pudding!


Wednesday 13th




Thursday 14th




Friday 15th




Saturday 16th




Sunday 17th






Friday, 8 December 2017

Wiltshire Geology Group in the field

Bradford-on-Avon site maintenance 25/11/17


A fine, if cold, morning was spent removing leaves and clay, washed-down from the sides of the pit, to uncover a ‘hard-ground’ limestone seafloor in the Forest Marble Formation.  The latter is made up of alternating limestones and clays.  The surface is very uneven and, because it was solid, a diverse assemblage of bottom-dwelling sea creatures lived there until they were entombed by an influx of clay (The Bradford Clay).  An earthquake may have triggered slumping of a nearby clay deposit, resulting in a turbidity current which, as the mud settled, buried the fauna in situ 165 million years ago - see diagram below (d) & (e).

Twelve people came along to help, from the Bath Geological Society and the WGG, which was great – any more and the pit would have been too crowded!

Thanks to everyone and in particular to Sam Medworth, who sieved some of the clay at home and sent these brilliant photos of a selection of fossils: brachiopods, sponges, echinoid spines, fish vertebrae and a sea-lily stem ossicle he found!





















Friday, 1 December 2017

Next week 4th to 10th December 2017

NEXT WEEKS EVENTS
4th to 10th December 2017

The following is an extract from Bristol Geology Calendar

More details can be found in the Calendar and on the web sites of the relevant Society or organisation.


All Week (except Monday)

10:00
 Bristol City Museum - Pliosaurus!
WhenSun, 13 August, 10:00 – 17:00
WhereBristol Museum & Art Gallery (map)
DescriptionTravel back in time 150 million years and dive into Bristol’s Jurassic seas.


  
Monday 4th

Field Course: The Devonian Geology of DevonWhen1 – 4 Dec 2017WhereDevon! (map)DescriptionA long weekend course (1st-4th December) to examine the record left in the “type” area. Hopefully we will visit both north and south Devon (and maybe stray into Cornwall) to look at evidence for environmental conditions and change, so different to the Old Red Sandstone continent lying to the north of what is now the Bristol Channel.
Contact Dave Green, Joys Green Farm, Forge Hill, Lydbrook, Glos GL17 9QU Tel 01594 860858davegeostudies@gmail.com

Dave Green - The Devonian Period
When
Mon, 20 November, 19:30 – 21:30
Where
Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester (map)
Description
The Devonian Period 419 to 358 million years ago, this period (whose existence was hotly disputed by Sedgwick and Murchison in the 1820s and 30s) saw the amalgamation of two parts of Britain (but strangely not including Devon!), the emergence of widespread land vegetation, closely followed by insects and terrestrial tetrapods. A major extinction, of disputed origin, wiped out a large proportion of life towards the end of the period. Half the world consisted of a vast ocean (Panthalassa), which, like the modern Pacific, was gradually being destroyed by subduction, in favour of the Rheic and PalaeoTethyian Oceans. Starts Mon 18th September for 10 weeks (not 16th or 23rd Oct), until 4th December Held at Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester from 7.30-9.30pm on Mondays. Cost £70 (including tea, coffee etc at breaktime!).
Contact Dave Green, Joys Green Farm, Forge Hill, Lydbrook, Glos GL17 9QU Tel 01594 860858
davegeostudies@gmail.com


Tuesday 5th


Geol Soc Western - Meeting
When
Tue, 5 December, 18:00 – 20:00
Where
TBC (map)
Description
Christmas Social/Fieldtrip


Wednesday 6th

South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group Talk
When
Wed, 6 December, 19:30 – 22:00
Where
Miners Institute (aka Coalpit Heath Village Hall), 214 Badmington Rd, Coalpit Heath, BS36 2QB (map)
Description
Talk 4

Contact Roger Gosling  01454 883607



Thursday 7th

Bath Geol Soc Lecture - 'S-cubed' … … and beyondWhenThu, 7 December, 19:15 – 20:45WhereBath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16 Queen Square, Bath (map)Description'S-cubed' … … and beyond
Dr Andy King, Director & Principal Geologist, Geckoella Ltd
In many parts of England, the extraction of building stone has long ceased, and many original source quarries have closed or been lost. Consequently, obtaining detailed information on distinctive local stones (or suitable alternatives), their source and use for historic building or conservation purposes is often difficult.
The Strategic Stone Study (‘S-cubed’) is the first country-wide comprehensive study undertaken of England’s buildings stones, their use in vernacular buildings and the identification of historic source quarries. Initially developed by Historic England (formerly English Heritage) as a response to difficulties sourcing suitable replacement stone for historic buildings, the study aims to provide freely accessible (on-line) data for anyone involved in sourcing stone for this purpose. Working with the British Geological Survey, the study has also involved local geologists and heritage building specialists.
This presentation explains the background that led to ‘S-cubed’, its subsequent development and the roll out of the latest features including interactive County Atlases and datasets with GIS search facilities. A series of recent case studies also demonstrate how data from ‘S-cubed’ can be used to further promote England’s building stones, to safeguard their future (for example by informing Mineral Safeguarding Areas) and help develop pragmatic approaches to the (re)opening of small scale building stone source quarries through local mineral planning policies.



Friday 8th

Cheltenham MGS Lecture - Sale, Quiz, and Raffle
When
Fri, 8 December, 19:00 – 21:00
Where
Shurdington at The Century Hall (map)
Description
 Sale, Quiz, and Raffle      



Saturday 9th




Sunday 10th






Unlikely places

Volcanic Ice Caves - You Couldn't Make It Up!

Atop Mount Rainier in Washington State there are glaciers. There are also fumaroles. The fumaroles have excavated (or melted) several kilometres of tunnels which are being used as analogues for Jupiter's moon Europa.

This article describes the work being undertaken to understand the caves and their use to develop rovers to travel across rugged icy terrain. 

The bit that intrigued me was the news that litter left by the relatively few people who get to the top of Mount Rainier, takes ten to fifteen years to travel through the ice and fall into the caves!

Collecting soil samples for microbial analysis in an ice cave near the summit of Mount Rainier

My picture of Mount Rainier, taken at the end of May 2016

Pterosaur eggs eggsamined (sorry about that - couldn't resist)

Did Hamipterus Chicks Fly when Hatched? - NO

The recent finding of large numbers of fossilised pterosaur eggs in China has allowed research into their embryology to take place. The pterosaur is Hamipterus which lived in the early Cretaceous. 

The research, reported by a Bristol researcher HERE, indicates that the ends of the wing bones were not fully developed suggesting that areas for major muscle attachments were absent and therefore the muscles were not developed. So forget "flaplings". Presumably the parent(s) fed them in the nest.

Hamipterus eggs

The obligatory scary flying dinosaur picture

Thursday, 30 November 2017

The wonders of LIDAR

LIDAR as a Tool for Geologists

The Geological Survey of Washington State in the USA has produced a wonderful survey of how LIDAR (light detection and ranging) is used by them. They tell all HERE. They use LIDAR to look at landslides, volcanoes, faults, glaciers, rivers, surficial and bedrock geology and to predict tsunami susceptible areas.

The whole web site is well worth looking at - the more you look the more you will find!

One LIDAR image which has intrigued me is this:-

The multiple lava flows of West Crater in Gifford Pinchot National Forest are separated into distinct layers.

And here is the same area taken from Google Maps.


I think LIDAR would make geological mapping rather easier than I remember it being!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

For the worried volcano neighbour

How a Volcano is Likely to Kill You

This article enumerates the relative dangers of volcano related phenomena. During an eruption, a volcano can produce pyroclastic flows, ashfall, volcanic bombs, lava-flows, mass-wasting events and sometimes tsunami. Pyroclastic flows are hot avalanches of debris and gases. Landslides and rock-avalanches can occur during an eruption or after it when the slopes of the volcano collapse. A lahar is a type of mudflow or debris flow, made from volcanic debris and water, flowing down from a volcano. Lahars can occur during an eruption or also years later when volcanic deposits are remobilized during intense rainfall. A tsunami can be the result of the complete or partial collapse of the volcano.

The one that gives me the willies are pyroclastic density currents. The video below illustrates why.

But all is not doom and gloom. The second video shows that, in favourable circumstances, precautions can be taken and they do work.