Holyrood Park image - Deep Time Walk

Deep Time Walk at the Science Festival

Holyrood Park image - Deep Time Walk

Deep Time Walk at the Science Festival – Thursday 11, Saturday 13 and Monday 15 April 2019

The Edinburgh Geological Society is delighted to be contributing to this year’s Science Festival with a unique event in Holyrood Park, exploring deep time, in association with the team behind the award-winning Deep Time Walk mobile app. Join us in the Deep Time Walk to travel across Earth’s 4.6 billion year timeline at a rate of one million years per metre. Starting at the creation of Earth, the walk covers significant events in history, including the formation of the Moon, plate tectonics, the early evolution of life, dinosaurs and much more.

Download the award-winning Deep Time Walk app at deeptimewalk.org.

Full details and tickets – www.sciencefestival.co.uk/event-details/deep-time-walk

 

Central Scotland Regional Group of the Geological Society

The Central Scotland Regional Group of the Geological Society organises regular events at various locations in Glasgow and Edinburgh. All event details are available on their web page. Meetings generally start at 6:15pm with tea and coffee from 5:30pm. All welcome.

The next event is a lecture by Mark Hudson on Sub-surface Laser Scanning, Multi Beam Sonar Surveys & Void Surveys
Date: 12 February 2019
Venue: Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

Mark Hudson presents on recent developments in sub-surface scanning and void surveys including ongoing research and development in the area, Mark will draw on his many years of experience in investigation of underground voids with numerous case studies from the UK.

Should you have missed or are not able to attend one of the CSRG events, presentations can be found on the past meeting resources webpage or their YouTube channel.

Evidence of a large explosive silicic eruption on Skye

An article recently published in Nature Communications has suggested a connection between the Sgúrr of Eigg and a distant rocky outcrop Òigh-sgeir, with a major volcanic eruption on the island of Skye and a significant climate event 55 million years ago, the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).

Valentine R. Troll et al compared mineralogy and isotope geochemistry of the pitchstone on Eigg and Òigh-sgeir, and the results suggest that the two outcrops represent a single, pyroclastic deposit. Prior to this study, David Brown and Brian Bell (in a paper published in 2013) had suggested a connection between the outcrops and an volcanic eruption on Skye – the new paper confirms these results and proposes a connection with the PETM.

The magnitude of the Skye volcanic eruption was estimated to 3.9- 15 km3 DRE (dense-rock equivalent) and a 5-6 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index scale, which compares with historical examples such as the 1991 Pinatubo eruption ( ~ 5 km3 DRE). The results imply that large-scale explosive silicic eruptions have likely been common during the opening of the North Atlantic. This paints a more violent picture of the rift to drift transition of the North-Atlantic region between 61 and 56 million years ago than previously assumed.

Source and run-out distances of the proposed Skye volcanic event, Troll et al. 2019

You can read more about the Sgúrr of Eigg and different ideas proposed in the past to explain its formation by some of Scotland’s well-known geologists (including Hugh Miller and Archibald Geikie) in the Geology of Eigg (2016), by John D Hudson, Angus D Miller and Ann Allwright, published by the Edinburgh Geological Society.

Valentin R. Troll, C. Henry Emeleus, Graeme R. Nicoll, Tobias Mattsson, Robert M. Ellam, Colin H. Donaldson & Chris Harris: “A large explosive silicic eruption in the British Palaeogene Igneous Province”. Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 494 (2019) Published in Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-35855-w

A summary of the article was included in the BBC news website https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-46986509

The original article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format. Creative Commons licencing http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

2018 EGS Public Lecture – What the Ice Age ever do for us?

At this time of year, its good to reflect on our successes as a Geological Society. This year we held our 2018 Public Lecture event at Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh on 21st November 2018. The event attracted around 150 people of all ages. Our topic was the Ice Age and we heard from three excellent speakers – Prof Emrys Phillips and Dr Carol Cotterill (both BGS Scotland) and Dr Tom Bradwell (University of Stirling). This event was our 2nd major public lecture in recent years https://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/public-lecture/

Landscape and the human psyche – by Dr Carol Cotterill

During the interval at this event, a rolling slide show was presented giving an artistic interpretation of the landscape.  The work was put together by one of the speakers, Dr Carol Cotterill.  We thought that people may not have had a chance to view this in full and so a pdf download is now available.  Please note that the contents are copyrighted to Dr Cotterill, we would therefore encourage anyone who wants to make use of the material to contact Carol directly. https://www.bgs.ac.uk/staff/profiles/6747.html

Thanks again to all who contributed to this year’s successful 2018 Public Lecture.

Secrets of the Philosophers’ Stone unveiled by Physicians’ College

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh is revealing the secrets to finding the Philosophers’ Stone, as part of its new public exhibition – Searching for the Elixir of Life: The mysteries and legacies of Alchemy – which looks at the ancient tradition of alchemy that stretches back thousands of years and was a mysterious early version of science and spiritualism. This is the first time in 337 years that the college’s fascinating collection of alchemical books and manuscripts has been put on public exhibition. The display will include the College’s Ripley Scroll – one of only 23 surviving copies anywhere in the world, and the only one in Scotland. The scroll uses symbols and illustrations to reveal the steps needed to create the Philosophers’ Stone.

The exhibition is free to attend and open to the public from 10am-4.30pm Monday to Friday, until summer 2019, at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 9 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ.

Further information about the exhibition on the Royal College website.

Obituaries of Society members

Did you know that the Edinburgh Geological Society publishes obituaries of members in our Annual Reports? Annual Reports from 2006 are available as pdf downloads here. The obituaries of significant figures in the Scottish geological community and the Edinburgh Geological Society are also published on our obituaries page. We’ve just added a lovely obituary to Henry Emeleus, who died in 2017.

By Kim Traynor - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21286316

Vote Geology – Update

Prof Robert Jameson (1774-1854)

The results of the voting for the National Library of Scotland’s conservation project #Rescueme closed on the 8th September. Three objects in need of conservation treatment were displayed in the Library, and the public cast votes in person and online for their favourite (Ref. Vote Geology). In total 253 votes were cast, and the clear winner with 112 votes was the pair of geological maps produced by Prof Robert Jameson (Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in the 19th Century). These 150 year old maps will now be conserved by one of Library’s conservators, Shona Hunter, and the treatment will be showcased through a series of blogs, tweets and short films, before the completed maps go back on display at the Library later this year. Thank you to everyone who voted geology!

We will continue to follow the story in subsequent news items.

 

Evening Lecture Season Kicks-off

First EGS lecture in the newly refurbished Hutton Lecture Theatre, University of Edinburgh

The 2018-19 Evening Lecture Season started on Wednesday 10th October at the newly refurbished Hutton Lecture Theatre, Grant Institute of Geology at the University of Edinburgh.  A large audience came together to hear Professor Roy Thompson (University of Edinburgh) talking about Scotland’s Energy Trilemma.  The talk ranged across a range of energy sources, always with a neat geological/geophysical angle, climate change and the environment.  Prof Thompson richly entertained his audience with the latest news on the subject and ensured that we all went away better informed for the future. He has published a blog post about his lecture, including a downloadable pdf of his slides, at https://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/homes/thompson/Blog/

The lecture set a high standard for forthcoming lectures, the next one of which will be held on the Wednesday 24th October (7.30pm) when Dr Graham Leslie (BGS) will speak on What place for world class geology in future Singapore.

Finally, a reminder of EGS’s Workshop on North West Highlands Geopark to be held at the Methodist Centre at 25 Nicholson Square, EH8 9BX on Saturday 27th October 2018 between 11am and 3pm.  Tickets to be purchased in advance, from https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3620756

 

EGS Public Lecture: What did the Ice Age ever do for us?

Wednesday 21 November, 6.30pm at Dynamic Earth

Edinburgh Castle Rock, a volcanic plug an important defensive site, carved by ice moving from west to east. Photo: Barbara Clarke

Scotland’s scenery has been shaped by moving ice and meltwater over hundreds of thousands of years, but the Ice Age has also affected the sea bed around Scotland and it influences today’s society in surprising ways.

This public lecture, organised by the Edinburgh Geological Society and Dynamic Earth, gives the opportunity to hear first-hand about recent advances in our understanding of the Ice Age in Scotland.

The event will be chaired and introduced by Hermione Cockburn, the scientific director at Dynamic Earth. Presenters are Carol Cotterill, Emrys Phillips (both from the British Geological Survey) and Tom Bradwell (Stirling University). Each speaker will give a short presentation outlining different aspects of the Ice Age, followed by a panel discussion with questions from the audience.

Venue: Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS. Parking is available in the Dynamic Earth underground car park (charges apply).

Tickets £5, free for students and under 18s. Advance ticket sales are now closed – some tickets available at the door, but get there early in case we sell out. Doors open 6pm, lecture starts at 6.30pm.

 

Pentlands Geology Walk – Sunday 4 November 2018

Join Victor Partridge from Forestry and Natural Heritage at the City of Edinburgh Council for this guided geology walk: From Fire and Ice. Come and find out how the Pentland Hills were created from volcanoes and glaciers on a moderate low-level 7 mile walk.

Meet: Threipmuir carpark
Time: 10:30-14:30
Bring: Sturdy footwear, waterproofs, packed lunch and a drink
Cost: £10 per person (concession £5). Over 16s only.

Please book by phoning 0131 529 2401 or email – pentlandhills@edinburgh.gov.uk