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.

 

Public Lecture

Public Lecture: Scotland’s recent fossil finds
Wednesday 1 November 2017, 7 pm

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: Advance booking recommended – book now via Brown Paper Tickets

Reconstructions of past environments in Scotland. Left: Sauropods on a Jurassic plain (credit: Jon Hoad). Right: Carboniferous lake (credit: Mark Witton, ©NMS).

UK Oil and Gas Future?

Is there a future for the UK oil and gas industry?

UK Oil and Gas Future?11 January 2017 at 7:00 pm
Lecture by: Dr Phil Richards, formerly BGS Scotland

Approximately 27 billion barrels of oil has been extracted from the UK North Sea. Some claim there are 14 billion barrels remaining to be exploited, but of those, nearly 6 billion barrels are classified as “Yet to Find”. Recently, we’ve been finding them in 10 to 15 million barrel increments, suggesting it might take some 38 years to find them all, by which time the North Sea’s infrastructure will be well and truly rusted away. How might we speed up the rate of new discoveries through the application of new technologies, and perhaps more importantly, by going back to basics and doing better geology?

Phil Richards worked as BGS Regional Hydrocarbons Manager, and has over 30 years of world-wide experience of oil exploration experience, specialising in creating the technical conditions necessary for inward investment in hydrocarbon exploration in developing basins. He has published over 50 papers on geology relating to oil and gas exploration.

Volcanoes and the making of Scotland

Volcanoes and the Making of Scotland

The next lecture of the Edinburgh Geological Society’s winter series will take place on Wednesday 23 November at 7:30pm in the Hutton Lecture Theatre at the Grant Institute of Geology, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh, when Professor Brian Upton, University of Edinburgh will talk about Volcanoes and the Making of Scotland.

Volcanoes have played a major role in the creation of Scotland’s geology. The most recent examples on the west coast are a mere 60 million years old, but rocks composing many of the famous Scottish landforms such as Glencoe are the direct result of earlier episodes of volcanism. Volcanoes and the Making of Scotland will explore back in time from the most recent examples to volcanoes of the obscure Precambrian times which left their signature in the ancient rocks of the far north-west.

Brian Upton is a Distinguished Fellow of the EGS and is Emeritus Professor of Petrology and Senior Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Geosciences of the University of Edinburgh.  The comprehensively-revised second edition of his highly-acclaimed book Volcanoes and the Making of Scotland has recently been published and has been enthusiastically reviewed.

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 .
 
Volcanic Hazards

Volcanic Hazards

The next lecture of the Edinburgh Geological Society’s winter series will take place on Wednesday 9 November at 7:30pm in the Hutton Lecture Theatre at the Grant Institute of Geology, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh, when Dr Charlotte Vye-Brown, BGS Scotland will talk about Volcanic Hazards. Of all the natural hazards, volcanic hazards are unique in the sense that there are many hazards associated with, and produced by, any single volcano that can have impacts hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away. Globally, an estimated 800 million people live within 100 km of a volcano that has the potential to erupt. There remain significant challenges to understand volcanic risk and assist with disaster mitigation. These challenges are pronounced in Africa due to significant knowledge gaps, lack of real-time monitoring, uncertainty, limited early warning capacity and pressure on resources. This talk will focus on recent research in Ethiopia on understanding the periodicity and character of past eruptions, identifying potential impacts, and evaluating future threat.

Charlotte Vye-Brown is a senior volcanologist with BGS in Edinburgh, working on projects on rift volcanism, particularly in East Africa; the volcanic history of the Ascension Islands; and emplacement and eruption styles of flood basalts.

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 .
 
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 .
 

Fluvial Channel Reservoirs

The first evening lecture of the Edinburgh Geological Society’s winter series will take place on Wednesday 12 October at 7:30pm in the Hutton Lecture Theatre at the Grant Institute of Geology, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh, when Prof Patrick Corbett, Heriot Watt University will talk about: Fluvial Channel Reservoirs – 20 years diagnosing their reservoir engineering attributes.

In 1994 the first study was undertaken to collect permeability data from opencast or surface mines in the Ayrshire Coalfields with the specific objective of generating synthetic well test responses. Well tests are undertaken by engineers on making a discovery in a fluvial reservoir to try to understand the lateral extent and size of the reservoir. At that time the tools for doing the simulation were rather simple, the models produced were rather simple and the results looked rather like the expected results in the engineering textbooks at the time.  Since then, as the data and understanding have improved, as Google Earth has provided images of fluvial systems across the world, as the simulators became more powerful, the grid blocks smaller and the models much larger, and more well tests have been conducted, we begin to see that the 3-D pressure responses are much more complex. This goes, in some way, to explain why fluvial reservoirs have lower recovery (and therefore higher remaining potential) than many other types of oil reservoir.  Twenty-two years later, we are still studying opencast mines in Ayrshire (the Spireslack Mine), building models and trying to understand fluid flow in complex reservoirs.

Patrick Corbett is Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot Watt University and Head of the Carbonates Reservoirs Group. His long-term research interests involve integration of reservoir geoscience, petrophysics, geophysics and reservoir engineering.

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.