News

The latest news and information from EGS, including updates on our excursion and lecture programmes, and any other news we think you might find interesting or useful. Please let us know of anything important that we could share with others, by email or using our Contact Form.

EGS members on Shetland

New tsunami evidence found on Shetland

EGS members on Shetland

EGS members examine the Storegga tsunami deposit in Shetland

New geological investigation on Shetland has found evidence that tsunami events have occurred more frequently than previously thought. The Storegga Slide, a series of submarine landslips off the Norwegian coast 8200 years ago, caused a tsunami some 20m in height when it reached Shetland. Now BGS and Dundee University researchers, with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council,  have uncovered evidence of  two further tsunami events at approximately 5000 years ago and just 1500 years ago. Dr Sue Dawson of Dundee University has been using a High Definition Micro Computed Tomography scanner to build a 3D picture of core samples which point to the tsunamis being 13m above existing sea level. The detail will help Professor Dave Tappin of BGS in determining the source of the deposited material – were these large catastrophic events far away from Shetland or smaller events closer to home?

The research is part of the Landslide-Tsunami project, ongoing research that forms a key element of NERC’s Arctic Research programme.

2018-19 Lecture Programme now online

scotlands energy trilemma roy thompsonWe’ve got a great line up of speakers in this year’s Lecture Programme, which starts on Wednesday 10th October and runs until Easter. Our Lectures are held on alternate Wednesday evenings, usually in the Hutton Lecture Theatre in the Grant Institute of Geology, The King’s Buildings. These are free and aimed at anyone with an interest in Earth science. Afterwards, you can join the speaker and members of the Society for a cup of tea and a chat.

Full details at www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/lectures/

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

Vote Geology

Prof Robert Jameson (1774-1854)

The National Library of Scotland (NLS) has a new display in the front hall of the George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh. The display features three diverse collections in need of conservation treatment, including a selection of 20th century booklets, a group of geological charts and a volume of 20 historical pamphlets. All of the items will be conserved but the winner of a vote which runs until the 8th September, will have its treatment documented under the social media hashtag #Rescueme.

The geological charts are those produced by Robert Jameson (1774-1854), Professor of Natural Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and where he taught both Darwin and Forbes.  He also produced a book on the mineralogy of the Western Isles. It would clearly be good to see his drawings better preserved and also to be able to follow this on social media.

To give the geological charts the best chance of winning, we need your votes either by visiting the George IV Bridge building or alternatively by using the buttons on the Twitter feed @natlibscot

Please note that NLS is open until 7pm Mon-Thur and until 5pm Fri-Sat.  Closed Sun.  The vote closes on the 8th September.

Raised dinosaur print

Dinosaur footprints discovered on mainland Scotland for first time

Raised dinosaur print

Raised dinosaur print by Dr. Neil Clark

Evidence of fossilised dinosaur footprints has been found on the Scottish mainland for the first time, on the coast near Inverness. The exact location is being kept secret to enable researchers to have access to the site. The discovery, by Dr. Neil Clark, Vice-President of the Geological Society of Glasgow and Curator of Palaeontology at the Hunterian in Glasgow, has been hailed as a significant find. The main site for dinosaur footprints and bones in Scotland is on the Isle of Skye and this significant new find is likely to give further insight into the dinosaurs of the Middle Jurassic period, some 170 million years ago. It is thought that the size of the newly discovered prints suggests they were left by a member of the sauropod family – large herbivores which stood up to 18 metres high.

 

This news item is to linked to a previous story posted on the EGS website – Preserving dinosaur footprint sites in Scotland.

The website team at work

The EGS website team

team at work

Our website, designed by EGS member Gordon Lang, is maintained by a small team of volunteer members. We meet every two months or so for training workshops where we discuss what updates are needed to keep the website fresh and how to make the necessary changes. Some of us are IT-savvy and some are less so, but we are all learning from each other and find it rewarding. Are you an EGS member who would like to help?  Please contact the EGS Secretary at secretary@edinburghgeolsoc.org.

Written Evidence

The Future of the UK Oil and Gas Industry

Professor Roy Thompson of the University of Edinburgh has supplied written evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee Inquiry (at Westminster) into The Future of the Oil and Gas Industry. This evidence comes as a follow-up to his article in The Edinburgh Geologist (Autumn 2017) on ‘Can fracking, for gas and oil, power the Scottish economy?’.  His key point is that, despite the North Sea being a geologically well-studied, mature oil-province, surprisingly large discrepancies remain over best estimates of oil and gas reserves. Estimates currently vary between 4.8 and 80 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe) for the UK continental shelf. This corresponds to a difference to Scotland’s economy of about $4 trillion – assuming approximately 90% of the oil lies in Scottish waters and commands an average price of $90 per barrel. His recommendation is that in order to determine the likely size of the UK’s ultimately recoverable oil and gas reserves, a poll of stakeholders be conducted, asking each to provide a quantitative, evidence-based estimate of economically viable production potential.

Written Evidence

Preserving dinosaur footprint sites in Scotland

Sauropod footprint on Skye. Image courtesy Steve Brusatte.

The Edinburgh Geological Society has been contacted by Dr Neil Clark (Curator of Palaeontology, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow) regarding a campaign to raise £5,000 to undertake mapping of some new dinosaur footprint sites in Scotland. The new locations will it is claimed add significantly to the understanding of Middle Jurassic dinosaurs. The funding is to go towards the purchase of suitable drone to help with the mapping and photographic record of the footprints as well as 3D software to undertake referenced measurements of the rate of erosion from stormy seas in future years. The funding will also support student engagement in the project with transport and accommodation costs. A number of researchers from both Scottish Universities and Institutions are involved in this exciting geoconservation project.

The project has created a crowdfunding site for those interested in offering financial support to the project.
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/scottish-dinosaurs

For further details, please contact Neil.Clark@glasgow.ac.uk

Front cover of guide

Moine Guide – reprinted 2018

News from our Publications Sales Officer, Don Cameron is that the Moine Guide has now been reprinted.  He has a good stock of guides available for EGS members at the reduced price of £14.40.  The non-members rate is £17.99.  Please contact Don if you would like to purchase a copy.

Front cover of guide

Front cover of Moine guide

 

New_EGS GSG Perth

EGS / GSG joint trip to Perth, Saturday 30 June 2018

The annual joint field trip with the Glasgow Geological Society took place to Perth City and surrounding Kinnoull Hill on Saturday 30th June 2018. The visit was led by Con Gillen (EGS) and examined both the Devonian volcanic and sedimentary rocks (Lower Devonian) of the surrounding area. The later rocks being famous for supplying the source rock for the Stone of Destiny. In addition, the trip also included ample opportunity to see the wide range of building stones used in Perth City Centre. The large group, approx. 30 members enjoyed the expert guidance of Con (along with the impressive work of those who compiled the Perth Excursion Guide). The splendid sunny day enabled us to capture the group in the Rodney Gardens, Perth – where lunch was had. The day also ended with a lovely high tea to round off another great field excursion.

New_EGS GSG Perth

EGS / GSG Perth 30 June 2018 (by Beverly Bergman)

Edinburgh Geocoin

The Edinburgh EarthCache Geocoin

Edinburgh GeocoinTo 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.