Public lecture exploring the amazing variety of fossils in Scotland
The Lothian and Borders GeoConservation group is delighted to publish a new leaflet exploring some of the geology of Dalkeith Country Park. The leaflet, prepared by volunteers Alison and Barry Tymon with support from other members of the group, introduces the sandstones that were used in construction of Restoration Yard and the Orangerie. It also explains how these sandstone layers were formed, and where some local examples can be seen in the Park. These were formed in large river channels around 310 million years ago.
You can download the new leaflet here – https://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/publications/geoconservation-leaflets/#dalkeith-country-park
Fossil walk at Barns Ness – Thursday 15 June 2023, 19:00 to 20:30. Free – booking essential
Join geologists from the Edinburgh Geological Society for a short walk exploring the limestone at Barns Ness, and the amazing stories that the rocks can tell of their origin in a warm, shallow sea at the equator. We’ll find lots of fossils, and evidence of changing conditions as different sedimentary rocks formed 330 million years ago. An event for Dunbar Civic Week.
Meet at the east end of the White Sands Beach – NT713772, What3Words: trembles.represent.encloses
Information about White Sands, including directions: https://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/info/210569/countryside_and_wildlife/12080/countryside_sites/5
Public talk by Bert Schuchmann: James Hutton in Leiden, 1749 – How the future founder of modern geology earned his doctorate in just a few weeks.
Tuesday 6 June 2023, 6pm at St Cecilia’s Hall, 50 Niddry Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LG
James Hutton stayed in Leiden, the Netherlands, for a few weeks in August and September 1749; a minimum of 29 days, and probably longer. This has been confirmed from original documents. Was it common to graduate in such a short period of time? How long did he really stay? Where did he live? The original house is gone. What did it look like and what happened to it? Who else lived there at the time? Where did Hutton go to during his sojourn in Leiden? Who did he meet? Finally, did Leiden have any influence on Hutton? These questions were raised and are tentatively answered.
Free event, booking required: book here
Book: James Hutton Stay in Leiden (1749)
In celebration of their 90th anniversary, the Leiden Geological Society are publishing an 86-page book in English, detailing their recent research into James Hutton’s stay in Leiden in 1749. This shows that in the 18th century there was lively diploma-tourism by numerous foreign students attracted by the fame of Leiden University. The author Bert Schuchmann also attempts to find a possible influence of the Leiden-ethos on Hutton’s subsequent intellectual development.
The book will be available to buy at the public talk on 6 June. We can also distribute it by post after the event, but it must be pre-ordered here.
Thursday 6th / Friday 7th / Monday 10th / Tuesday 11th April 2023, 10am to 1pm
Every beach pebble has got a story to tell, about how the original rock was formed and what’s happened to it since then, to turn it into the pebble you can pick up on a beach today. Join geologists from the Edinburgh Geological Society on a local beach for some hands-on activities to explore the stories hidden in every pebble. We’ll discover an amazing variety of different types of pebble, find out where they come from and what they tell us about Scotland’s geology. We’ll also explore why the beach looks the way it does, and how it might change in the next few decades with climate change. You can try out some games and activities that will help you find out more about Scotland’s geology and make you think! Build a mini drystane dyke, skim some stones, or help make a map of the area.
Please dress for the weather. Warm clothing and strong footwear advised. Events take place close to access points but you may need to walk up to 100 metres on sand or pebbles and negotiate ramps or steps. Children must be accompanied by an adult and all participants require a ticket.
If you have mobility needs why not contact Beach Wheelchairs Portobello to see if they can help. BWC Portobello have a range of manual beach wheelchairs and one special all terrain power wheelchair for free hire that can be used to get on the beach and take part in our activity. They also have a hoist that takes a loop style sling available to use. The event at Portobello is very close to their base. The Joppa event is further away, but if you don’t mind a 1.6km wheel along the prom, you would be most welcome there as well. Both events have ramp access to the beach.
To find out more, including how to book check out their website https://www.facebook.com/beachwheelchairsportobello or phone 0300 666 0990 to chat to one of their volunteers.
On 1 February 2023, the annual Clough Medal lecture took place at the Grant Institute, Kings Buildings Campus, University of Edinburgh and also broadcast online. Mike Browne, acting President of Edinburgh Geological Society explained that Charles Thomas Clough was a distinguished BGS geologist, who in fact died after a being hit by a train near Birkhill Station on the Bo’ness to Kinneil railway in 1916. The Clough Medal was set up in 1935, and is given each year to a person who has contributed to a geologist whose original work has materially increased the knowledge of the geology of Scotland and/or the north of England, or one working in Scotland or the north of England who has significantly advanced the knowledge of any aspect of geology.
The medallist for 2022/23 was Professor Dave Evans (Department of Geography University of Durham) who gave a lecture entitled the “Quaternary glacial geology and geomorphology: application of m0dern analogues to reconstructing glaciations”. He was presented with his medal by Mike Browne.
A brief outline of Dave’s career was described by Jon Merritt (ex-BGS), who said that their interest in geology had both been seeded by visits to geology outcrops in Hertfordshire. He said that today, Dave was widely regarded by this peers as one of the leading Quaternary and glacial scientists in the UK and worldwide. His significant publication record of peer-reviewed papers (>200+), books (16), field guides and maps were an incredible achievement.
From his PhD and post-docs in Canada, he found himself in a position at the University of Glasgow where he stayed for 14 years. Dave was made a senior lecturer there, in the Department of Geography & Topographic Science. He has had a long association with the teaching and advancement of earth science and physical geography in Scotland. In 2004, he moved to position of Reader at the University of Durham and became a Professor in 2011.
Dave’s considerable contribution to this research field was acknowledged in 2017 by the Royal Geographical Society when he was awarded the Busk Medal– “for excellence and originality in the study of glacial landscapes and processes and empowering the next generation”.
He has worked over the years with some greats, such as Professor Doug Benn (University of St Andrews) with whom he published the internationally renowned text book “Glaciers and Glaciation”, now in its 2nd Edition. Dave’s research focuses on glacial geomorphology and Quaternary science, concentrating specifically on palaeoglaciology and the spatial and temporal reconstruction of former glaciers and ice sheets. His research falls into three key themes: (i) Glacial landsystems which uses his knowledge of glacial geomorphological to develop conceptual models to understand glacial process-form relationships in contemporary glacial settings in the high-arctic and mid-latitude mountain ranges. He has been successfully using this approach to reconstruct glacier margins in northern Britain and other glaciated regions around the world; (ii) Glacial sedimentology focusing on ice-marginal settings and has become one of the world’s experts in understanding of the relationships between subglacial till genesis and glacier dynamics; and (iii) Quaternary palaeoenvironments of glaciated basins.
The talk which Dave gave on the evening took us on journey through (i)-(iii) and had some spectacular drone footage of glacial features which he and his research students are working on in Iceland. He shared the recent visualisations of the ice sheets movements across the UK & Ireland produced by the Britice-Chrono 2022 (Clarke et. Al, 2023). Along with some beautiful images of glacial deposits from County Durham through to Strathallan (Gleneagles), near Perth and across the pond to Alberta. It is here where advances in LIDAR (accurate level measurements by satellites to resolution of 1-2m) are providing opportunities to uncover new glacial and peri-glacial features not seen before in the landscape.
The vote of thanks was given by Dr Andrew Finlayson (BGS) and who paid tribute to Dave’s expertise in the field which he said that Clough would have admired. He thanked Dave for the way he was able to take processes happening today and use these interpret sediment sequences around the globe. He also said that he particularly liked the idea that “Tills were not till”. He asked for thank you from the audience present and online for the speaker and this was duly done by all.
If Fellows weren’t able to attend physically or virtually, a recording is available on our YouTube Channel.
To celebrate the rich variety of Edinburgh’s geology and the number of Earthcaches in the area, the Edinburgh Geological Society has produced a souvenir Edinburgh Earthcache Geocoin. This is an attractive trackable silver coin with views of Edinburgh Castle and Salisbury Crags. Find out more about Earthcaches and purchase the souvenir coin here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Internationally Scotland is important for its fossil heritage. New finds add to our record of past life and environments on planet Earth and help us understand the rapidly changing world that we live in today. The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 required Scottish Natural Heritage, now known as NatureScot, to prepare the Scottish Fossil Code. The requirement is in recognition of the value and vulnerability of Scotland’s fossil heritage and that legislative measures alone cannot entirely safeguard the fossil heritage.
NatureScot is seeking views on the updated and refreshed Scottish Fossil Code which is due for relaunch in early 2023. To ensure that the refreshed Code is understandable and caters for all those that have an interest in Scotland’s fossil heritage, we would appreciate your comments and advice at The Scottish Fossil Code – have your say page.
Please note that the closing date for this consultation is Thursday 17th November 2022.
In the run up to this year’s Fellows’ Night, we invite EGS Members to visit somewhere new this autumn and share what you find.
Interesting linksHere are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)
- Earth Lines: Geopoetry and Geopoetics
- Edinburgh’s Geology – Sites
- EGS Officers and Council Members – historical list
- EGS strategy – Members’ Views, Spring 2019
- Excursions – General Information
- Learning Resources – Edinburgh’s Rocks and People
- Public Lecture
- Fieldwork Grants – Reports
- Geological Excursion Guides & Books
- James Hutton (1726-1797)
- Learning Resources – Edinburgh’s Rocks
- Lothian and Borders GeoConservation
- Who Are We? What Do We Do?
- Alexander Rose (1781-1860)
- Edinburgh’s Geology
- Excursion Photographs
- Fieldwork Grants – Reports to 2011
- Geoconservation Leaflets
- Learning Resources – Evidence from the past
- Learning Resources – Making Edinburgh’s Landscape
- Local Geodiversity Sites in Edinburgh
- Scotland’s Geology
- The Edinburgh Geologist
- Local Geodiversity Sites in Scottish Borders
- Local Geodiversity Sites in the Lothian and Borders area
- Newsletters, Annual Reports and AGM minutes
- Sir Roderick Murchison (1792-1871)
- Hutton’s Unconformity
- Local Geodiversity Sites in Midlothian
- Scottish Journal of Geology
- Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875)
- Access to the Lyell Collection
- David Milne-Home (1805-1890)
- Tayside Geodiversity
- Charles Thomas Clough (1852-1916)
- EGS Library
- Geological Pioneers
- Arthur Holmes (1890-1965)
- List of EGS Books
- Grants and Awards
- Medallists and Award Winners
- The Laws of Edinburgh Geological Society
- Members’ Photo Gallery
- Geology Toolkit
- No Access
- The Small Print
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