The city of Edinburgh is well known for its spectacular scenery. As spring approaches we invite you to get outdoors and explore some local geology, to discover how it underpins the scenery and the ways that people have lived here and used geological resources over thousands of years. The Lothian and Borders GeoConservation group have published over 30 leaflets that explain the geology of local sites of interest across Edinburgh and the Lothians. You can take a walk along the coast at Cramond or Dunbar, for instance, or head inland to the wonderful varied geology of the Pentland Hills.
New from the Northwest Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark, a Walker’s Guide to Coigach & Assynt. The book explores 26 walks selected by the local community with over 110 stunning colour photographs, maps for each route, and information about the local history and geology. The walks range from short strolls to mountain adventures – so there’s something for everyone. It also includes a foreword by mountaineer Sir Chris Bonnington.
If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for fans of the Geopark and the North West Highlands, or perhaps just looking for inspiration for your next adventure in 2022, take a look at the Walker’s Guide in the Geopark’s online shop. For UK orders we recommend ordering by December 15th for delivery in time for Christmas.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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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