News

The latest news and information from EGS, including updates on our excursion and lecture programmes, and any other news we think you might find interesting or useful. Please let us know of anything important that we could share with others, by email or using our Contact Form.

Public lecture: Scotland’s recent fossil finds

In the last few years, very exciting new fossil finds have been made in several locations in Scotland, unlocking the secrets of key moments in evolution. In Skye and the Inner Hebrides, new reptile and mammal finds from the middle Jurassic add important knowledge about this time period which is sparsely represented elsewhere. In the Scottish Borders, new tetrapod fossils help fill ‘Romer’s Gap’ and demonstrate the migration of vertebrate life onto land and the evolution of our first five-fingered ancestors. And the pavements of Edinburgh and other urban areas are providing new Devonian fish fossils and furthering our understanding of life in Devonian lakes.

This public lecture gives the opportunity to hear first-hand about major advances in our understanding of Scotland’s geology and the evolution of life. Chaired by Mark Stephen from BBC Radio Scotland, the panel will include Nick Fraser (National Museums Scotland) and Steve Brusatte, Elsa Panciroli and Tom Challands (all from the University of Edinburgh). Venue: Appleton Tower, 11 Crichton Street, Edinburgh EH8 9LE.

Tickets £5, free for students and under 18s: further information.

Extra excursion – Sunday 29 October

Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Photo: Angus Miller

We’ve arranged an informal replacement for the mapping exercise in Holyrood Park that was planned for September but which had to be cancelled at short notice. We hope to run another full excursion in the spring: this informal, shorter excursion is planned as a basic introduction to mapping that will complement any future plans.

Holyrood Park offers a superb section through varied geology, including the eroded cone of the Arthur’s Seat volcano, a major dolerite intrusion that forms Salisbury Crags, and exposures of sandstone and other sedimentary rocks formed early in the Carboniferous Period. This excursion will introduce the main features of the geology but encourage deeper understanding by learning how to create a geological map of a small area. Participants will learn the basics of making measurements in the field using a compass-clinometer, analysing rock exposures and recording information in a field notebook and paper map.

Further details and how to book …

Edinburgh Building Stone

The Engine Shed, Stirling

The Engine Shed, Scotland’s brand new national building conservation centre, opened to the public for the first time in July 2017. Based at Forthside Way, Stirling, the new learning and visitor resource will serve as the national conservation hub, using world-leading innovation to bring Scotland’s built heritage to life through technology and hands-on activities.

Open six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, the centrepiece of the free visitor experience is a large-scale map of Scotland compiled from hi-resolution satellite images. From this, additional information can be accessed using an iPad as an augmented reality device, providing people with the opportunity to explore Scotland’s buildings, plus the chance to discover how the Engine Shed is digitally documenting Scotland’s heritage.

Find out more …

St Abbs Science Day

Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley

One of the greatest ever photographic records of human survival on display in a remarkable new exhibition created by the Royal Geographical Society, curated by polar historian Meredith Hooper. The touring version of Enduring Eye is at the National Library of Scotland until 12 November 2017 and, alongside Hurley’s astonishing images, it showcases the expedition’s links to the people of Edinburgh.

One of these is a tartan blanket given to the expedition’s Scottish geologist James Wordie by his sister. After the ship sank, it was adapted into a jacket to help give some protection against the fierce polar winter. Also on show is a paperknife crafted from a wooden tent peg and given to Wordie by fellow Scot Henry McNish, the ship’s carpenter whose skills were essential in getting the men to safety.

Further information about the exhibition | Directions to the National Library of Scotland

Explore Arran’s geology this summer …

Glen Sannox, Arran. Photo: Angus Miller

Come and explore some of the best geology in Scotland …. the Lochranza Centre on Arran are organising two public events this summer:

Geology Course 29 July – 1 August 2017
Come and join us to learn more about our amazing landscape and the processes that formed it. The Centre  will instruct and guide you over  a four day period. Participants can either join us on a daily basis for £50 per day or a residential basis at £75 per day inclusive of tuition and transport.

This course is aimed at anyone interested in learning more about the Geology of Arran.  Note most walks will involve a few miles of walking over mostly flat, but uneven terrain. If you are interested sign up soon as you can as we have limited availability!

To make a booking please either telephone or e-mail the Centre on 01770830637 or contact Stuart at stuart@lochranzacentre.co.uk.

Geofest 16-17 September 2017
In conjunction with the National Trust for Scotland and the Arran Hertiage Museum we are proud to be able to offer the second Arran Geofest. This will run over the weekend of the 16 and 17th September and will take the form of several guided walks to different island venues of geological interest followed by an evening talk at various venues around the island. Further details will follow.

www.lochranzacentre.co.uk/events

Summer excursions programme now underway

Castle Rock from Salisbury Crags, Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

The Society’s summer excursion programme is now underway, with a range of excellent excursions exploring the geology of central and southern Scotland. The programme includes Wednesday evening excursions close to Edinburgh, and a range of Saturday day excursions. Please book in advance, since numbers are sometimes limited. It is easy to book, just follow the instructions here.

Wednesday 19 April, 7pm Dalmeny Railway Cutting
The disused railway line between Dalmeny and South Queensferry has cuttings that present good exposures of some of the local geology. The volcanic and sedimentary rocks of this area formed early in the Carboniferous Period. We will view some of these layers and explore their relationships.

Tuesday 2 May, 10am–3pm
National Museums Scotland: Visit to the National Museums Collection Centre at Granton and afternoon excursion to Wardie Shore
The National Museums Collection Centre at Granton houses a huge collection of important mineral and fossil samples. This visit will allow small groups to explore in detail elements of the Palaeobiology and Earth Systems collections. The afternoon excursion will visit Wardie Shore, an important historical location for Carboniferous fossil fish.

Wednesday 3 May, 7pm Crichton Kirk, Castle and quarries
Crichton Castle and Kirk are built of local sandstone, which can still be seen in nearby disused quarries. The sandstone was deposited by rivers in the Carboniferous Period, and contains good examples of cross-bedding. Nearby, on the west bank of the River Tyne, the North
Greens Limestone was quarried and burnt in nearby limekilns
.

Clough Medal presented to Dr Phil Stone

President Stuart Monro presents the Clough Medal to Phil Stone.

Wednesday 22 March: the Edinburgh Geological Society were delighted to present the Clough Medal for 2016-2017 to Dr Phil Stone, in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the understanding of the geology of the Lower Palaeozoic Southern Uplands Terrane and the Ballantrae Ophiolite Complex and many other achievements.

The Clough Medal is the Society’s premier award, presented annually to a geologist whose original work has materially increased the knowledge of the geology of Scotland and/or the north of England, or who is Scottish by birth or by adoption and residence and has significantly advanced the knowledge of any aspect of geology.

Siccar Point

Visit Siccar Point during the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Siccar PointThe Society is organising trips to Siccar Point during the Edinburgh International Science Festival. These afternoon coach trips from central Edinburgh take place on 9, 12 and 15 April.

Great opportunity to visit Siccar Point with a geologist: follow the journey of James Hutton, the father of modern geology, from the site of his home in central Edinburgh to the wild coastline at Siccar Point. At this beautiful natural site Hutton’s evidence for deep time can be observed and appreciated. It is a short, easy walk to the viewpoint above Siccar Point. Visiting the Point itself involves a potentially difficult descent. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

Book now – www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/siccar-point-the-abyss-of-time

More information about Siccar Point and James Hutton.

Southern Uplands terrane, courtesy Phil Stone

Clough Medal presentation & lecture: Phil Stone, Wednesday 22 March

Phil Stone lecture posterEdinburgh Geological Society is delighted to present the Clough Medal for 2016-2017 to Dr Phil Stone, in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the understanding of the geology of the Lower Palaeozoic Southern Uplands Terrane and the Ballantrae Ophiolite Complex and many other achievements. The Medal will be presented on Wednesday 22 March, followed by Phil’s lecture: Scottish perspectives (old and new) on greywacke, graptolites and Gondwana. All welcome to the final lecture of the session.