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.

Lochranza Centre and the Arran Geofest

Students at Hutton’s Section, Arran. Photo: Stuart Blake

In October 2015, the company that owned the Lochranza Centre decided to close it, saying there was no future in feldwork! Senior staff and the local community have received wide support to create a new Community Interest Company to keep the Centre open and safeguard 14 jobs, 5 of which are held by geology graduates.

The Centre is now thriving, and is open to any groups who want to come and experience at frst hand the geology and beauty of north Arran. We were co-hosts of the frst Arran Geofest in 2016 and are planning the next one in September 2017 – volunteers welcome! We are also working with partners including the Arran Heritage Museum and National Trust of Scotland to move towards UNESCO Global Geopark status in the next few years.

Come and experience Arran’s geological treasures: the dyke swarm of Kildonnan, the Drumadoon sill, the myriapod trail. Contemplate process and time at Hutton’s Unconformity, only a 25 minute walk from the Lochranza Centre where a warm welcome, accommodation, refreshment and tuition await you and your party if needed.

Stuart Blake, Director Lochranza Centre CIC 01770 830637.

Geological Excursion Guide to the Stirling and Perth Area.

Review of Stirling & Perth Excursion Guide

Geological Excursion Guide to the Stirling and Perth Area.

Geological Excursion Guide to the Stirling and Perth Area.

The Society was very pleased to see a great review by Tom Bradwell of one of our recent publications: A Geological Excursion Guide to the Stirling & Perth Area –  by Mike Browne and Con Gillen, published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association.

“This is a well composed and thoughtfully illustrated guide from the first page. A valuable opening chapter summarises the geology of the whole area, starting in the Precambrian (Dalradian) and spanning the Devonian, Carboniferous and ending in the Quaternary. With up-to-date references, bespoke maps and useful cross-sections this chapter is an excellent summary of the geological history of central Scotland in 20 pages. Going beyond more than a ‘regulation’ summary, this chapter is an authoritative but succinct review of the stratigraphy of the whole region. As such it represents an excellent synthesis, built around the editors/authors’ considerable experience in this field, worthy of publication alone.

The remainder of the book, exactly 200 pages, contains 18 colour-coded chapters each describing a separate geological excursion. The excursions are carefully chosen to reflect a wide variety of rock types, landscapes and walking abilities. They are geographically well distributed within the area covered by the guide.”

Read more online at Science Direct … http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016787816300943

The andesite lava dome of the currently active volcano in Montserrat, Eastern Caribbean.

Exploring and explaining the geology of Blackford Hill

The high volcanic ridge of Blackford Hill and the deep rocky gorge of the Hermitage of Braid have exciting stories to tell about Edinburgh’s geological past.

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 .
 

Power of Our Planet

On Saturday 22 October 2016, starting at 10:00am, the British Geological Survey will be holding a one-day Science Showcase entitled ‘Power of our Planet‘ at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.  There will be a wide range of demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages and levels of interest.  This year, this event replaces the popular BGS Doors Open Day, now sadly no more since the closure of Murchison House, and it will provide a great opportunity for members of the public to meet and engage with geologists and their work.
Everyone is encouraged to support this event and to publicise it to family and friends.
The ‘Power of our Planet’ event is free to attend; admission to the main Dynamic Earth galleries, if desired, will incur the usual admission charges.

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.

South Queensferry and Siccar Point

A reminder that there are two EGS excursions this week:

Wednesday 22 June
South Queensferry Shore

Leader Richard Smith, Lothian and Borders Geoconservation
Meet at 7pm opposite the Hawes Inn (where the pier joins the B924) – NT 136 783. Own transport.
Saturday 25 June
Cove, Pease Bay & Siccar Point, East Lothian
Leader Angus Miller, Geowalks
This is the annual Joint Excursion with the Geological Society of Glasgow
Transport will be by coach from Waterloo Place at 10.00 am (NOT the usual 9.00 am) with an extra pickup point at Milton Road to Cove. Pickup at the end of the day from Siccar Point Car Park on the entrance road to RK Drysdales Factory TD13 5YS, returning about 6pm after High Tea.
Further details of these excursions, including information on routes, main features of geological interest, and level of difficulty, can be found on the EGS website athttp://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/x_home.html .
Please note that you will need to book for these excursions – contact Mel Farquharson on excur…@edinburghgeolsoc.org or by telephone 0131 552 3452.  This is especially important for the Saturday excursion to ensure that there are sufficient places on the coach, and also to pre-order from the menu for High Tea, as confirmed orders are needed asap.