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No.503617
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Lectures

Last updated 23.11.2018

Non Members are welcome

Date Speaker Subject (click for info)
13th Oct 2018
6.00 pm
Dr Michael Simms
10th Nov 2018
6.00 pm
Prof Christopher Jackson
8th Dec 2018
6.00 pm
Prof Alex Maltman
12th Jan 2019
6.00 pm
Prof Jim Rose
9th Feb 2019
6.00pm
Presidential Address: Dr Mike Allen
9th Mar 2019
6.00 pm
Dr Dean Lomax
13th Apr 2019
6.00 pm
TBA

Venue - Please note the change to previous years!
Meetings will be held in future in the Geography Department of Nottingham University, which is in the Sir Clive Granger Building. Enter the university by the North Entrance, off the A52, and follow signs to the Main Visitor Car Park. As you turn right into the car park, the Sir Clive Granger Building is on your left [Nottingham University Map]

 
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EMGS INDOOR LECTURE PROGRAMME

Titles:
In search of a giant meteorite impact in Scotland
Date:
Saturday, 13th October 2018 - 6pm.
Speaker:
Dr Michael Simms, National Museums, Northern Ireland
Abstract:

The 1.2 billion year old Stoer Group, in the far north-west of Scotland, represents the oldest undeformed sedimentary succession in Britain. Within its hundreds of metres of mainly fluvial sandstones is a relatively thin (5-10 m) unit, the Stac Fada Member, in which green-grey shards of once molten rock are intimately mixed with the predominant red sandstone. For decades this was interpreted as a volcanic mudflow until, in 2009, Oxford geologist Ken Amor discovered shocked quartz grains and geochemical anomalies. These proved that the Stac Fada Member actually had been formed by the impact of a giant meteorite, the first such evidence discovered in the UK.

On my first visit to the outcrop of this remarkable rock in 2011 I discovered previously unrecognised evidence for high-speed ejection of unmelted rock fragments from the impact, and also deduced that the impact deposit had come from the east rather than the west as had been suggested previously. However, any crater of this age that lies to the east will now be concealed by rocks thrust westwards across much of northern Scotland along the Moine Thrust.

But even a buried impact crater can be detected by its gravity signature, with the shattered rock and sediment infill associated with the crater contrasting with the denser target rocks. Consulting the BGS gravity map of the UK revealed a huge gravity anomaly more than 50 km east of the Stac Fada Member outcrop, centred on the town of Laird. Could this 40 km wide anomaly really be the source crater?

This talk will describe the chance series of events that led to this discovery, and some of the ongoing work that has considerable implications for understanding the geology of Scotland and the nature of giant meteorite impacts.

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Title:
Terra Infirma: What has salt ever done for us?
Date:
Saturday, 10th November 2018 - 6pm.
Speaker:
Professor Christopher Jackson, Imperial College, London
Abstract:

Salt is not simply for fish 'n' chips or icy roads. It is a unique and perhaps underappreciated rock type, living in the shadows of its more glamorous carbonate and clastic neighbours. For example, not only is salt one of the economically most important rock types on earth, forming the seals to super-giant hydrocarbon accumulations, but it is also responsible for forming some of the most complex geological structures observed on the earth. In this talk I will celebrate salt, highlighting its unique physical properties, its role in the generation of complex geological structures, and its importance in terms of hydrocarbon exploration.

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Title:
Wine, Whisky and Beer: the role of Geology
Date:
Saturday, 8th December 2018 6 pm.
Speaker:
Professor Alex Maltman, University of Aberystwyth
Abstract:

We read that the rocks and stones in vineyards affect the taste of wine and that whisky is influenced by the rocks the water encountered on its way to the distillery. With beer, in contrast, geology is rarely mentioned. Alex Maltman will review this situation in the talk, presenting evidence that leads to perhaps surprising conclusions. They may even prompt you to think about your favourite tipples in a new light!

(To be followed by our Christmas Cheese and Wine Evening - 5.00 please remember to bring a glass)

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Title: Mediterranean tsunami at 80ka ago
Date: Saturday, 12th January 2019 6pm.
Speaker: Professor Jim Rose
Abstract:

A large number of sites around the coast of the Mediterranean show a repetitive succession with a very conspicuous boulder-bed sandwiched between underlying deposits and soils of the Last Interglacial, and overlying sediments from the time of the Last Glaciation and Holocene/Anthropocene. These boulders are being interpreted as the products of a meg-tsunami because they are found at all types of coastal location, both exposed and sheltered, and require a very powerful process to emplace them around the coast. Dating by a number of methods indicates an age of the boulder-bed at around 80 ka.

In addition, conspicuous polygonal patterns are formed in beach-rock below the boulder-bed. These polygons have a typical diameter of 1.2m and a typical depth of 1.5m. They are infilled with a sandy diamict and calcrete. The origin of the polygons is far from clear, but desiccation or shock-induced packing/dilation are considered to be possible explanations.

In this lecture I would like to present the evidence described above and evaluate the reasoning behind my interpretations, along with a consideration of the cause of the event and the consequences for landscape change with particular reference to the present Mediterranean coastline. I would also like to engage those attending the lecture with the mechanisms proposed and see whether the propositions can withstand scrutiny and challenge.

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Title: The Long and Moving Story of the Great Glen Fault
Date: Saturday, 9th February 2019 6pm.
Speaker: Presidential Address: Dr Mike Allen
Abstract:

The Great Glen Fault is, perhaps, the best known fault in the land. But how much do we really know of its nature and origins? This thorny issue appears to have been discussed more than any other structure in Britain, judging by a review of the geological literature available to me (and probably more besides)!

The general consensus agrees that we are dealing primarily with a strike-slip (or wrench) fault, probably with origins back in Pre-Cambrian times. It produces a very obvious mark right across the Scottish mainland and extends deep into, and perhaps through, the crust; but its continuation beyond both coastlines have been a subject of some speculation, with rather less consensus.

The subject that has, however, courted greatest controversy is the amount, direction and timing of movement along the fault. This debate can be considered by following several lines of argument that commonly appear to be mutually exclusive but occasionally produce elements of support for each other, although a final answer (if such is possible) remains to be established.

This investigation is of further interest to the historian of geology in that it reveals how methods in geology have been shaped and how ideas have evolved through new technological capabilities and understanding of the earth over the course of the last 150 years or so.

(To be followed by our Annual Dinner at the Orchard Hotel. Details in our next Circular)

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Title: Incredible Ichthyosaurs A decade studying Jurassic 'Sea Dragons'
Date: Saturday, 9th March 2019 - 6pm.
Speaker: Dr Dean R Lomax, University of Manchester
Abstract:

More than 100 species of ichthyosaurs have been found across the globe with thousands of specimens from the UK.  Most UK specimens are from the Jurassic Coast, Dorset, and from quarries in Somerset, and by far the most common UK ichthyosaur is Ichthyosaurus.  Over the past decade Palaeontologist Dean Lomax has dedicated much of his academic career to studying ichthyosaurs by examining thousands of specimens held in museums across the world.  This has resulted in the discovery of a new species, incredibly rare specimens and finds that are new to science.

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Title: TBA
Date: Saturday, 13th April 2019 6pm.
Speaker: TBA
Abstract:

Details to follow.

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