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Spireslack Opencast Surface Mine, Ayrshire

Spireslack Open Cast site – image courtesy BGS

Spireslack is a stunning exposed section of an important coal-bearing sequence, unparalleled in Scotland. More than one km long, the 80 metre deep canyon is cut into a gently-dipping succession of Carboniferous-age strata that includes economically valuable coal, ironstone and oil shale. This excursion will enable close-up examination of the different strata including their sedimentology, structural geology and palaeontology, together with issues relevant to applied geoscience and mining.


Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

Spireslack Opencast Surface Mine – Geology in 3D

Date & time:

1st July 2017, 10:00 hrs at site

Finish time:

Leave site c. 16:00 hrs

Leaders:

Graham Leslie and Mike Browne, British Geological Survey

Excursion aims and description:

To examine the Carboniferous geology of these important Scottish coal-bearing sequences, sedimentology, structural geology, palaeontology; seeing the Lawmuir, Lower Limestone, Limestone Coal, Upper Limestone and Passage Form formations.

Transport:

Minibus from Edinburgh; 25 participants maximum

Meeting point:

Waterloo Place 8am

Coach route:

Edinburgh – Biggar – Douglas/Muirkirk and return

Extra pick-up points:

Comiston Road and Fairmilehead (waterworks); Biggar or Douglas if required.

First locality (Grid reference or postcode), parking and description:

Spireslack OSM, [NS 746 305], entrance gate to site is a right turn heading west on A70 just after Glenbuck Loch.

Excursion route:

Strictly controlled by leaders on site.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Site is now an inactive opencast surface mine, with trackways and uneven worked ground underfoot locally. Height is some 100-150 m, over 1 km walking distance, and return.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

The scale of exposed sections is unparalleled in Scotland. Access/progress on site will be strictly managed by leaders to enable maximum visibility of key geological features.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Controlled access to key outcrop where safe to do so. There will be no access to, or beneath, engineered faces. Binoculars will be an advantage.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?:

Hard hats and Hi-viz required. Stout footwear is a requirement (steel toe-caps are not necessary). No trainers.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

At coffee-stop in Douglas village – no facilities on site.

Geological map sheet:

1:50k sheet 23(Hamilton)

OS map sheet:

1:50k sheet 71

References:

Leslie and Browne, 2016. Spireslack Canyon, Geoscientist, 26, 10-15.


Paleosols as evidence of terrestrial climate change.

Palaeosols and Climate Change

The next lecture of the Edinburgh Geological Society’s winter series will take place on Wednesday 26 October at 7:30pm in the Hutton Lecture Theatre at the Grant Institute of Geology, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh, when Dr Tim Kearsey, BGS Scotland will talk about Palaeosols as evidence of terrestrial climate change at major Palaeozoic vertebrate evolutionary events.
Climate change is a major driver of evolution. Palaeosols (fossil soils) are one of the few direct indicators of terrestrial climate and provide a record of climate changes and landscape architecture, and are critical in understanding the terrestrialization of vertebrates in the Carboniferous and the Earth’s largest mass extinction at the end of the Permian.

Tim Kearsey is a survey geologist and sedimentologist with BGS in Edinburgh. He has research interests in Palaeozoic stratigraphy and sedimentology; palaeosols and palaeo-environmental reconstruction; and geostatistics. In June 2015 he was joint leader (with David Millward) of the highly successful EGS excursion to Burnmouth.

The meeting will be followed by tea and biscuits in the Cockburn Museum of the Grant Institute, to which all are invited.

A link to a map of the campus can be found at http://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/l_home.html .
 

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Spireslack Opencast Surface Mine, Ayrshire

Spireslack Open Cast site – image courtesy BGS

Spireslack is a stunning exposed section of an important coal-bearing sequence, unparalleled in Scotland. More than one km long, the 80 metre deep canyon is cut into a gently-dipping succession of Carboniferous-age strata that includes economically valuable coal, ironstone and oil shale. This excursion will enable close-up examination of the different strata including their sedimentology, structural geology and palaeontology, together with issues relevant to applied geoscience and mining.


Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

Spireslack Opencast Surface Mine – Geology in 3D

Date & time:

1st July 2017, 10:00 hrs at site

Finish time:

Leave site c. 16:00 hrs

Leaders:

Graham Leslie and Mike Browne, British Geological Survey

Excursion aims and description:

To examine the Carboniferous geology of these important Scottish coal-bearing sequences, sedimentology, structural geology, palaeontology; seeing the Lawmuir, Lower Limestone, Limestone Coal, Upper Limestone and Passage Form formations.

Transport:

Minibus from Edinburgh; 25 participants maximum

Meeting point:

Waterloo Place 8am

Coach route:

Edinburgh – Biggar – Douglas/Muirkirk and return

Extra pick-up points:

Comiston Road and Fairmilehead (waterworks); Biggar or Douglas if required.

First locality (Grid reference or postcode), parking and description:

Spireslack OSM, [NS 746 305], entrance gate to site is a right turn heading west on A70 just after Glenbuck Loch.

Excursion route:

Strictly controlled by leaders on site.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Site is now an inactive opencast surface mine, with trackways and uneven worked ground underfoot locally. Height is some 100-150 m, over 1 km walking distance, and return.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

The scale of exposed sections is unparalleled in Scotland. Access/progress on site will be strictly managed by leaders to enable maximum visibility of key geological features.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Controlled access to key outcrop where safe to do so. There will be no access to, or beneath, engineered faces. Binoculars will be an advantage.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?:

Hard hats and Hi-viz required. Stout footwear is a requirement (steel toe-caps are not necessary). No trainers.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

At coffee-stop in Douglas village – no facilities on site.

Geological map sheet:

1:50k sheet 23(Hamilton)

OS map sheet:

1:50k sheet 71

References:

Leslie and Browne, 2016. Spireslack Canyon, Geoscientist, 26, 10-15.


Paleosols as evidence of terrestrial climate change.

Palaeosols and Climate Change

The next lecture of the Edinburgh Geological Society’s winter series will take place on Wednesday 26 October at 7:30pm in the Hutton Lecture Theatre at the Grant Institute of Geology, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh, when Dr Tim Kearsey, BGS Scotland will talk about Palaeosols as evidence of terrestrial climate change at major Palaeozoic vertebrate evolutionary events.
Climate change is a major driver of evolution. Palaeosols (fossil soils) are one of the few direct indicators of terrestrial climate and provide a record of climate changes and landscape architecture, and are critical in understanding the terrestrialization of vertebrates in the Carboniferous and the Earth’s largest mass extinction at the end of the Permian.

Tim Kearsey is a survey geologist and sedimentologist with BGS in Edinburgh. He has research interests in Palaeozoic stratigraphy and sedimentology; palaeosols and palaeo-environmental reconstruction; and geostatistics. In June 2015 he was joint leader (with David Millward) of the highly successful EGS excursion to Burnmouth.

The meeting will be followed by tea and biscuits in the Cockburn Museum of the Grant Institute, to which all are invited.

A link to a map of the campus can be found at http://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/l_home.html .