Available Now: Adam Sedgwick - Geologist and Dalesman

The Latest News From the Yorkshire Geological Society

NEW! 2020 Membership Fees Now Due

A very happy New Year to you all. Please note that Membership fees are now due for 2020; many thanks to those members that have paid their fees already (members who pay by Direct Debit will have paid their subscription automatically).

Memberships that have not been paid in full by the end of February 2020 will have a small surcharge of £2 surcharge levied against the current membership rate.

If anyone has any queries regarding their membership fees please contact membership@yorksgeolsoc.org.uk for further information.

Vacancy for Chief Editor,

Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society

Are you looking to broaden your knowledge, expertise and profile as the lead editor of a highly regarded geoscience journal? If so, the Yorkshire Geological Society (YGS) is offering an exciting opportunity to develop your skills and experience.

The Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society (PYGS) is a leading UK geoscience journal, published by the Geological Society of London (GSL) and included in the world-renowned Lyell Collection and GeoScienceWorld. Recent PYGS highlights include new research on the sedimentology and palaeoecology of brachiopod shell beds in Mississippian limestones of the Derbyshire carbonate platform, and a new record of ichthyosaur embryos preserved in utero in the Early Jurassic of Yorkshire. A thematic set of papers on the Chalk of the Northern UK Province was published in the November 2018 issue.

We are seeking a Chief Editor to lead the development of the PYGS from 2019 onwards and oversee publication of new scientific content. You will lead a team of experienced Editors and work in partnership with the Geological Society Publishing House to publish the journal and broaden its reach and impact.

Interested? Please see the job description for more details and information on how to apply.

Token of appreciation on behalf of YGS

John Peate, a member of the Society, and Regional Geologist of Hanson Aggregates, has for many years been an outstanding representative for Hanson in supporting numerous geological activities in Yorkshire and particularly through this Society. These notably included sponsoring the presentation event for the Adam Sedgwick book written by Colin Speakman and co-published by the Society, also arranging survey support and access for a number of research projects in the Yorkshire Dales and most recently allowing field excursion access to Horton Quarry.

John shortly moves on, within the Hanson organisation, to a new posting in the USA, for which we wish him well. In September, John Knight, Vice-President presented John with a framed copy of the 1821 William Smith map of Yorkshire with appropriate engraving to express our thanks and appreciation.

UPDATE: Charles Lyell's notebooks SAVED:

Appeal from the University of Edinburgh

Charles Lyell's 294 notebooks, currently in private ownership, are due to be sold abroad. The University has launched a crowd-funding appeal to seek voluntary contributions towards the £1.5m needed to save this vital historical collection. The appeal for pledges has been extended to 15 October 2019.

GOOD NEWS! This appeal has now raised the required amount and the notebooks have been saved, see the appeal website for further information.

President's Word

A Happy New Year to all members following a year in which I failed to deliver one of the promises I made in the first of my series of President’s Word, namely to steer the Society and its members safely through Brexit; I’m afraid it was out of my hands!

Reluctantly, though now with some relief, I recently cleaned and stored away my scuba diving equipment as water temperatures begin to drop in our freshwater venues and air temperatures plummet, making it an uncomfortable surface interval between sea dives. There are hardy divers of course who continue to be active throughout the year but I’m afraid those days are now behind me.

Experienced divers develop specific interests: wrecks, caves, photography, marine life but, in my own club in Scunthorpe, the members have had to learn to put up with my tendency to suddenly stop and apparently, at least in their eyes, be staring at the sea floor or having a prolonged rest. These stops are usually the result of discovering some geology-related feature and they are not all confined to under the water.

My first dive at the National Dive Centre at Stoney Cove, Leicestershire was delayed because the path from the car park to the water is through a cutting that exposes red Triassic mudstones (Mercia Mudstone Group) lying unconformably on Ordovician quartz-diorites of the South Leicestershire Diorite Complex. It was worthy of at least 15 minutes of my attention but my instructor didn’t agree! Nor did most of the members who accompanied me on a week-long trip to the Sound of Mull when we tied up for the night at Lochaline. I arrived at the local pub a good 45 minutes after them armed with pockets full of Gryphaea, ammonites and bivalves, collected from the shore, which I duly presented in expectation of at least some recognition. Not one of them recognised the assemblage of fossils on view as the same as that seen in the stone walls and garden soils of Scunthorpe.

Frustratingly there is a dive site I visited in 2013 which is an analogue for Treak Cliff near Castleton, Derbyshire. It is in the Gulf of Suez and, on our arrival to tie up for the night, I shocked my dive buddies by repeatedly shouting “it’s Treak Cliff” as we approached a submarine reef (our objective) with pale blue, relatively shallow water beyond, that contrasted with the deep inky-blue sea on the open water side. I use the term “frustratingly” because nobody on board, fellow Scunthorpe Divers, Egyptian crew members and dive leaders and solo Chinese diver, appreciated what I was trying to explain. Similarly whenever I take groups on my Castleton circular field trip I wish I could transport them to the Red Sea for a few minutes; perhaps a laptop to show my video record of the experience, complete with shouts of “it’s Treak Cliff”, would be a useful accompaniment on my next visit.

A more recent dive in the Adriatic Sea off Cephalonia visited the site of a ‘hole’ in the sea bed. The mouth of this ‘hole’ is at 30m below sea level and is the mouth of a tunnel leading to a system of onshore caves. During the dry season water flows from the sea towards the land and the opposite way during the wet, winter, season. The result is that this regular flow of water oxygenates the water close to the dive site and brings in nutrients to support marine biota.

My buddies on this Cephalonian dive were strangers to me but they were interested to know what I had found so fascinating about a large clam-like shellfish at the entrance to the tunnel. I explained that the Mediterranean has today, sadly, a paucity of marine life, a combination of factors including overfishing, pollution and increasing sea temperatures. These “clams” dominated this niche environment and reminded me, as I finned from one to the next, of the large inoceramids such as Mytiloides spp. that are common in the Chalk of the early Turonian.

Paul Hildreth, YGS President

Guide to the Geology of Bempton Cliffs created by YGS for RSPB

It is with great pleasure that we're able to inform you of the creation of a field guide by the YGS, on behalf of RSPB, the geology of Bempton Cliffs outlining the geological setting of the iconic chalk cliffs at RSPB Bempton Nature Reserve.

Hard copies of the flyer will be available in the Seabird Centre at RSPB Bempton Cliffs from Spring 2019.

Further details regarding RSPB Bempton Cliffs can be found on the RSPB website, including information on updated bird sightings throughout the year.

IMPORTANT: Please update your contact details

Thank you to all members you have already updated their contact details using the form included in our May Circular. Council respectfully requests those members who have not yet updated their details, including their email address, to complete and return by post the contact details form enclosed in our next Circular (619).

Alternatively you can download the form here (this downloads the form to your computer's default 'downloads' folder) and return by email to membership@yorksgeolsoc.org.uk.

Thank you in advance for your assistance and kindest regards, YGS Council.

Grants for early career scientists and researchers

Grants of up to £1000 are available, please see our Awards and Grants page for more details and information on how to apply.

Postgraduate Diploma in "The Geology of Northern England"

This unique course uses the geological wealth of northern England to explore the main principles of geology and integrate regional knowledge into the interpretation of larger scale Earth processes and structures. Students also assess the region’s importance in the context of current controversies in the Earth sciences, from fracking to climate change, while reflecting upon northern England’s vital role in the history of geology. The Diploma goes on to examine human interactions with the region's rocks and landscapes, from the Palaeolithic to the present day, to complete a fascinating journey overall.

This two-year part-time programme at The University of York is run entirely online by distance learning, but also includes a residential week in York at the beginning of each of the two years, for field and class-based study.

Applications are currently being considered for the new intake in September 2018. For more details and to apply online, please visit the University of York's dedicated page, or email them.

Adam Sedgwick - Geologist and Dalesman now on sale!

The Yorkshire Geological Society is pleased to announce the publication of Adam Sedgwick - Geologist and Dalesman a biuography to Colin Speakman.

Published jointly by YGS and Gritstone Publishing Co-operative Ltd, the book tells the story of the upbringing, professional life and research of Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873), one of the great figures of Geology and of Victorian-era British Science. Colin Speakman, already well known for his writings and broadcasts on the Yorkshire Dales, carries the reader from Sedgwick’s humble beginnings in Dent to his academic position of Woodwardian Professor at the University of Cambridge. Because of the detailed research by the author the book will appeal not only to readers with an interest in the history of science but also to those who enjoy a fast-moving and diverse story of success, often against all the odds. Lovers of Yorkshire, and in particular the Dales, will find much to enjoy

Order your copy today through our dedicated sales page.