The Latest News From the Yorkshire Geological Society

Please find below recent society news and information directly from the YGS Facebook page. If you would like to join in with any discussions about the geology of Yorkshire, or share any interesting photographs you may have, please feel free to post a message on our Facebook page.

The Society also operates a member’s email list to help keep members informed of Society news and changes to the events programme. The system is administered through the national Joint Academic Computer Network (JICSMAIL) on behalf of the Society, and allows both Council and registered members to communicate directly.

If you would like to receive news and updates directly via e-mail, please contact us and request to be added to our members e-mail forum.

  • Posted 5 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    On behalf of Dr Andy Howard, President of YGS, On 3rd January 2017, an earthquake offshore below the southern North Sea was widely reported in the media, especially in Yorkshire and northeast England. The ‘quake had an instrumented magnitude of 3.8, a focus at 18km depth and an epicentre about 150 km east of Scarborough. Models for the decay of ground shaking with distance from the epicentre suggest that such an earthquake would be barely perceptible to people on the east coast of England. Following the media reports, many Yorkshire citizens took to social media to report that they had felt the earthquake, in some cases with some amusingly mocked up ‘damage’ (up-ended wheelie bins and the like). However, notwithstanding the sometimes-questionable scientific value of some social media reportage, earthquakes are one of the earliest and best examples of the objective use of so-called ‘citizen science’ or ‘crowd sourced data’ for research purposes. While the magnitude, foci and epicentres of modern earthquakes are accurately measured by networked arrays of seismometers, human observations remain essential to understand and map the intensity of earthquakes and their effects on people, the environment and infrastructure. The intensity and impact of an earthquake at the Earth’s surface depend on a range of secondary factors, such as the physical properties of the local shallow geology and, the design and quality of the built infrastructure. Seismologists have therefore devised a schema of simple multiple choice questions that encourage the public to report their observations on the effects of earthquakes. The answers are then processed to produce highly valuable scientific data that is used for earthquake research and mitigating seismic risks. In the UK, these data are analysed and mapped using the European Macroseismic Scale, which is also used to evaluate the intensity of historical earthquakes based on eyewitness accounts of the effects on people, objects and buildings, before the advent of modern instrumentation.  The Web and social media are great tools for distributing online questionnaires to acquire information, but long before the days of the internet, seismologists published questionnaires in local and national newspapers, despatched them through the post to local communities close to earthquake epicentres and even had staff or volunteers pounding the streets to drop questionnaires into mailboxes and community centres. But there’s no doubt that modern information technology and the ‘big data’ revolution are encouraging more and more researchers to use ‘crowd-sourcing’ to acquire valuable data for science. There are a few golden rules for good citizen science. First, the observations to be captured must not require any specialist knowledge or learning by the public. Second, the observations must be captured and formatted (for example using a simple questionnaire) so that they can be quickly fed into a scientific database with a minimum of time-consuming translation by the scientists. Third, it’s essential to give citizens feedback on the outcome of the science they are contributing to, which helps to incentivize participation. Finally and most critically, good publicity is needed to get as big a ‘crowd’ as possible to contribute that all-important data.  Again, citizen science is another opportunity for geological societies worldwide to make a major contribution to geoscience, not only through their members’ individual participation but also by helping to publicise citizen science opportunities more widely to the communities they serve. YGS Council will be looking at how the Society can help with this though our website, meetings and events. In the meantime……. ….. did you feel the 3rd January ‘quake, or not? Please help the British Geological Survey at the following link: http://www.earthquak...t_uk_events.html
  • Posted 5 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    Pebbly fluvio-deltaic sandstones of the Brimham Grit (Kinderscoutian, Yorkshire, northern England).
    Yorkshire Geological Society's cover photo
  • Posted 7 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    Leading Yorkshire Figures in the History of Geology
  • Posted 8 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    THE NORTH ATLANTIC:ORIGIN TO ENERGY Congratulations and thanks to all the speakers (Gillian Foulger, Tony Doré, Christian Schiffer, Randell Stephenson) at our joint meeting yesterday with the North East Geological Society at Durham University. Some fascinating information on new geophysical data, new understanding, and new questions on the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean, and the significance of these geological processes over human timescales - clearly and entertainingly explained. Well done and thanks on behalf of the YGS Members! http://www.yorksgeolsoc.org.uk/
    http://www.negs.org.uk/
    negs
  • Posted 9 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    We are also delighted to announce that the Society’s redesigned website has been launched, and can be viewed at the usual web address: http://www.yorksgeolsoc.org.uk/ From the redesigned website you can access information on the Society, gain information upcoming meetings, accessing The Proceedings online, download various Society documents and view a sample photo gallery from past meetings & events.  We value all of your comments, so please let us know what you think of the new website. Hope to see many of you at the first meeting of our 2017 session next Saturday (28th January 2017) at Durham University - further details, including a PDF flyer, can be found at http://www.yorksgeol...ABLE/meeting.pdf
    Welcome to the Yorkshire Geological Society
  • Posted 9 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    Some positive news for geology and museums...
    The Yorkshire Museum
  • Posted 11 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    Yorkshire Geological Society members can enjoy a subscription to Geology Today for the reduced price of just £44.
  • Posted 11 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    A message from Dr Andy Howard, President of the Yorkshire Geological Society. In December, we posted the news on the YGS Facebook Pages that Society member Colin Waters’ lead authored paper on the Anthropocene had made the Top 100 list of most talked about science articles in 2016, out of a total list of 2.7 million. Of course, that hugely long list will include some fantastic science, but what makes some science papers more ‘talked about’ than others? Well, being President (of USA, rather than YGS) clearly helps! The No.1 paper on the list is authored by Barack Obama and looks at the effectiveness of the Affordable Care Act (‘ObamaCare’) in the USA. Obama is the first incumbent American President to publish a paper in a scientific journal. Would that same paper be number one without Obama as author? Maybe not. Let’s have a look at some other papers on the list. Overwhelmingly, the most ‘talked about’ papers are about people, especially their health and behaviour, so the medical and social sciences totally dominate. Papers about Humankind’s impact on the planet, such as sea level change, the ozone hole and global warming, also figure largely, and these of course include the paper by Colin and his co-authors. Exoplanets, extremophiles and evolution are popular, as are dinosaurs and dogs. Papers in the highest impact journals also predominate, such as Nature, Science and the Journal of the American Medical Association. But, most importantly, very few if any of the articles were written with the objective of being popular. They are fundamentally good science, but also science that happens to get noticed. All the top 100 papers have enjoyed the attention of the press, and while scientists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with the media there’s no doubt that journalists can often tease the story out of a research paper when the scientists can’t themselves. Having a multi-national authorship team who could talk to the press at all hours and across many time zones certainly helped with the Waters et al. paper. But the ‘talking’ itself grew and spread on the web and social media.  The YGS’ objectives are ‘to promote and record the results of research in Geology and its allied sciences, more especially in Yorkshire’. So how can we get that research more ‘talked about’? We will launch our new website in early 2017 which, together with our Facebook page, will give YGS members some simple new tools to review the science presented at indoor meetings and field trips, send in photos, and comment on geology in the news in Yorkshire and elsewhere. These are great tools for all our members to share their knowledge and ‘talk about’ geology to a wider audience, the potential new YGS members of the future. Please have a go! Happy New Year and very best wishes for 2017! Andy Howard
    (President)
  • Posted 13 Weeks Ago By Yorkshire Geological Society

    Yorkshire Geological Society
    Indoor meeting - 'The North Atlantic: The Origin to Energy'.
    Joint meeting with the North-Eastern Geological Society.
    For further details see the YGS website http://www.yorksgeolsoc.org.uk/ and the YGS members' Circular 605 (early January 2017)
    Indoor meeting -The North Atlantic: From Origin to Energy