Winter Reading

The Edinburgh Geological Society publishes a wide range of reading material, suitable for spending some winter hours catching up on recent research, expanding your horizons and planning your next excursion! Much of our printed material is available for free on this website.

The Edinburgh Geologist

Our twice yearly magazine for everyone with a broad interest in geology. Recent editions have covered the geology of Rockall, geological perspectives on the climate crisis, exploring the South Sandwich Trench, reports on excursions and book reviews. The entire archive of The Edinburgh Geologist is available online, from the first edition in 1977 to the most recent editions.

Geoconservation leaflets

The local geoconservation groups associated with EGS have published almost 40 leaflets on local sites of geodiversity interest, most of which are available online for free. From Wolf’s Hole Quarry in Bridge of Allan to Siccar Point, there is an amazing amount of information available here about the geology of central Scotland. Browse our recently-rearranged comprehensive listing here.

Books and Excursion Guides

We publish handy, pocket sized excursion guides and books covering some of the most popular areas of Scottish geology. These Geological Excursion Guides and Books are suitable for both amateur and professional geologists. These are available to order online, with a 20% reduction from RRP for EGS members and will remain postage-free to EGS members resident in the UK until sales can resume at our Grant Institute lectures once more.

New boards explore Fife’s volcanoes

The Edinburgh Geological Society is delighted to have supported a project by Dr Tom Gernon, now an Associate Professor in Earth Science at the University of Southampton, to install two new interpretation boards on the Fife Coastal Path at Elie and St Monans in Fife. Tom’s research on the Eruptive history of an alkali basaltic diatreme from Elie Ness, Fife has been brought to a much wider audience through the preparation of these two fantastic boards, which tell the story of the volcanic history of the area and include information on the historical context including the work of Archibald Geikie and curiosities such as Elie Rubies.

You can visit the new boards on the Fife Coastal Path next to the St Monan’s auld kirk and near the Elie Ness lighthouse. The project was supported by the Geologists’ Association Curry Fund, EGS, Fife Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, geoHeritage Fife and the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust.

Content of Interpretation Board at Elie Ness

Content of Interpretation Board at St Monans Fife

 

New book Earth Lines: Geopoetry and Geopoetics

The Edinburgh Geological Society and partners are delighted to launch a new book Earth Lines: Geopoetry and Geopoetics edited by Patrick Corbett, Norman Bissell, Philip Ringrose, Sarah Tremlett, Brian Whalley. Earth Lines grew out of a Geopoetry event hosted by the Geological Society of London on 1 October 2020, and is a compilation of poetry and essays on the broadest theme of geoscience.

More details of the publication, including a selection of audio and video recordings of some of the poems and poets featured in Earth Lines, including some additional poems and a geopoetry map, are available on the dedicated Earth Lines page of this website.

The online launch, part of the Scottish Geology Festival, took place on Friday 1 October 2021 – view the event recording here.

Earth Lines is now available to buy from our publications section – click here.

EGS Public Lecture: Climate change in Edinburgh – Past, Present, Future

Wednesday 6 October 2021, 6.30 pm at Dynamic Earth

Our climate change lecture explored the geological aspects of climate change in the past, present and future. The panel of guest speakers considered what the sedimentary rocks of this area tell us about the climate in the geological past and evidence from Scotland’s coasts of changes over the last millennia and decades. And we looked to the future, and how geology and geological processes are at the heart of climate change adaptation and mitigation. The live, in-person audience had an opportunity to engage the speakers in questions and discussion.

This was in-person event at Dynamic Earth, with a small audience but we felt it was important to gather again. Good to be back!

Contributors:
Dr Katie Strang
, Scottish Geology Trust
Dr Larissa Naylor & Freya Muir, University of Glasgow
Dr Katriona Edlmann, University of Edinburgh

Chair:
Dr Hermione Cockburn
, Dynamic Earth

 

Geologists’ Association conference comes to Edinburgh, 15-17 October 2021

The Geologists’ Association Annual Conference will be held in Edinburgh, supported by the Edinburgh Geological Society.

The programme includes a tour of the National Museum of Scotland followed by a reception in the Playfair Library of the University of Edinburgh, with an opportunity to hear about and view some of Charles Lyell’s notebooks and correspondence.

On Saturday there is a full day of presentations in the Surgeon’s Hall, covering many different aspects of the geology of Scotland and further afield.

The conference concludes with a range of field trips on Sunday morning.

Details at https://geologistsassociation.org.uk/conferences/

Beasts Before Us – The Untold Story of Mammal Origins and Evolution

Beasts Before Us – The Untold Story of Mammal Origins and Evolution by palaeontologist Elsa Panciroli charts the emergence of the mammal lineage, Synapsida, beginning at their murky split from the reptiles in the Carboniferous period, over three-hundred million years ago. They made the world theirs long before the rise of dinosaurs. Travelling forward into the Permian and then Triassic periods, we learn how our ancient mammal ancestors evolved from large hairy beasts with accelerating metabolisms to exploit miniaturisation, which was key to unlocking the traits that define mammals as we now know them.

Elsa criss-crosses the globe to explore the sites where discoveries are being made and meet the people who make them. In Scotland, she traverses the desert dunes of prehistoric Moray, where quarry workers unearthed the footprints of Permian creatures from before the time of dinosaurs. In South Africa, she introduces us to animals, once called ‘mammal-like reptiles’, that gave scientists the first hints that our furry kin evolved from a lineage of egg-laying burrowers. In China, new, complete fossilised skeletons reveal mammals that were gliders, shovel-pawed Jurassic moles, and flat-tailed swimmers.

This book radically reframes the narrative of our mammalian ancestors and provides a counterpoint to the stereotypes of mighty dinosaur overlords and cowering little mammals. It turns out the earliest mammals weren’t just precursors, they were pioneers.

Beasts Before Us is available to EGS members at 20% off (rrp) – use the code BEASTS20 at  www.bloomsbury.com/beastsbeforeus

New books and old, postage free to EGS members

Two recently published titles are now available to purchase by EGS members from the Publications page. David Webster’s new book, A Guide to the Geology of Islay, Jura and Colonsay can be purchased at £12/copy (RRP £14.99) and its recently updated companion volume A Guide to the Geology of Islay is available at similar terms.

The new publication from Lochaber Geopark The deep history of Scotland’s West Highlands is available at £4, and we still have a few copies remaining at £16 of Con Gillen’s The Western Highlands of Scotland (RRP £19.99). All of these and our many other geological excursion guides, mostly at 20% reduction from RRP, will remain postage-free to EGS members resident in the UK until sales can resume at our Grant Institute lectures once more.

Excursion Programme online

Our Excursion Programme for 2021 is now online, it includes 7 excursions on Saturdays and 6 shorter Wednesday evening excursions, led by geologists with expert knowledge of the locality. Visit the Excursions page for full details, and please read and take note of the Code of Conduct & Safety Guidelines. You must book in advance for all excursions, as numbers are limited for safety reasons. There is a charge of £5 per person for Saturday excursions, which is payable when booking, and no charge for Wednesday evening excursions.

Please remember that although this represents a step towards normality, there are some significant differences to normal years. For example, due to Covid-19 restrictions we are not running a coach for Saturday excursions, at least for now. Independent travel to meeting points will be required, which brings with it issues around parking and so we have reduced numbers on most excursions). We would urge that consideration is given to letting as many members as possible attend trips, so please don’t book every trip.

Looking to 2050 – how will climate change affect Edinburgh?

In the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in November, EGS is keen to engage the general public in considering how we mitigate and adapt to climate change in the Edinburgh area. By 2050, there are likely to be obvious effects of increased sea level and coastal erosion, more rainfall and flooding, and rising groundwater. Meeting the Scottish Government target to reduce Scotland’s emissions of all greenhouse gases to net-zero by 2045 (at the latest) will also change Edinburgh. How will we generate electricity, heat our houses and travel around the city? In what ways might the city and the surrounding landscape adapt to reduce carbon emissions?

Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 July, 10.30am & 2.30pm: Edinburgh 2050 – how will climate change affect our city? Outdoor events for Edinburgh Science Festival – book at www.sciencefestival.co.uk.

Online Workshop 26-27 May 2021 – Cryogenian glaciation: the extraordinary Port Askaig record

 

This workshop is to present results of an eight-year field programme on a world-class example of the deposits of an ancient ice age. The exposures are the best permanent exposures of glacigenic deposits of any age in the British Isles and have attracted much international interest. There is an informal proposal that the base of the Cryogenian geological system should be located here.

The programme is listed at https://www.cryogenian.org/science-conferences.html and abstracts will be added nearer the time. Registration is free at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cryogenian-glaciation-the-extraordinary-port-askaig-record-registration-147150973523