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The Latest News From the Yorkshire Geological Society

NEW! YGS Online lecture by Professor Kevin Taylor

We are pleased to announce our first (ever?) YGS Online Lecture or ‘webinar’ entitled ‘Analogous Mudstone Successions from the Yorkshire Coast and the USA’ by Professor Kevin Taylor, (University of Manchester).

For further details and free registration see our Eventbrite page. You will then receive a ticket with joining instructions to follow on the day.

NEW! Vacancy for General Secretary, Yorkshire Geological Society

Do you have a passion for the geology of the North of England, and a desire to advocate geoscience to a wider audience in the region? The YGS is seeking an energetic and proactive individual to take on the role of General Secretary, and bring new direction and innovation to the conduct of YGS business and to the Society’s communications across a range of media.

Interested? Then please see our advertisement for further details, and how to apply.

Closing date for applications is 31 August 2020.

Vacancy for Chief Editor,

Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society

YGS is seeking to appoint a new Chief Editor for the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, one of the UK's oldest and best-known geoscience journals.

The Chief Editor will lead development of the journal from 2021 onwards and will shape future editorial priorities and policy. The role offers an exciting opportunity to provide strategic leadership at a time of rapid and radical change in scientific publishing.

Please see our advertisement here for full details and how to apply, the closing date for applications is Friday 31 July 2020.

A very warm welcome to new YGS Council Member Natasha Dowey

Natasha Dowey is a Lecturer in Geology at the University of Hull, teaching students about geological hazards, volcanoes, and igneous rocks. She previously spent seven years working in the hydrocarbon industry, with a particular focus on understanding risk and uncertainty in oil and gas exploration. She worked extensively on the geology of China, and also studied the stratigraphic and tectonic evolution of basins across Central America, India, the Middle East and Europe.

Natasha completed her PhD on the dynamics of pyroclastic density currents at the University of Liverpool in 2012, after gaining an MPhil in Igneous Geochemistry and a BSc in Environmental Earth Science from Aberystwyth University. Her current research interests lie in the uncertainties involved in studying the rocks formed during explosive eruptions, with the aim of improving our understanding of volcanic hazards.

Natasha is passionate about communicating the importance of geoscience in a more sustainable society, and runs a website called "Geoscience for the Future".

A very warm welcome to new YGS Council Member Tom Berry

Tom is an engineering geologist with extensive experience in the UK and overseas. He has provided engineering geological input for major projects including; the UK Geological Disposal Facility, UU HARP tunnelling project, California High Speed Train Project, Sirius Minerals Woodsmith mine, Cuadrilla's Bowland shale gas wells, Lake Mead Third Intake tunnel, Forth Replacement Crossing, Heathrow Airport T5 and Øresund Link.

Tom is head of discipline for engineering geology for Jacobs’ Europe, Middle East and Africa region based in the Leeds office. He combines his time between thought and technical leadership, technical delivery and (as often as he can), field work! He is often called upon to provide engineering geological input on legal cases and insurance claims as well as conferences, publications and statutory / industry bodies.

Tom regularly works across the world, and was involved with the geological assessment of the Sirius Minerals potash mine in North Yorkshire. You can watch a previous talk that Tom was involved in preparing & presenting to the Geological Society of London in 2015 on YouTube.

You can find out more about Tom or contact him via his LinkedIn page.

NEW ! Geologists’ Association Carreck Archive of geological photos

This fabulous archive of geological photos, recording field trips and events from the GA’s earliest days to the present, is now available on the BGS Earthwise platform. Enjoy !

View hundreds of images of famous geological localities and field-wear fashions from days gone by !

The GA are looking for volunteers to index and document the archive – please visit their archive webpage for information about how you can help.

COMING SOON TO YOUR HOME ! - Virtual Field Trips !

As we all adjust to life during COVID-19 lockdown, YGS Council have been working hard to work out ways of how we can bring some of our region's favourite & famous geological locations to life, from the comfort of your own home.

The idea of creating Virtual Field Trips has been on the YGS Council agenda for some time now. At the March 2020 online virtual Council meeting (our first!) we agreed to make this a priority for the near to medium term. It will hopefully also help us to bring members together and collate their diverse experiences and expertise, making Yorkshire's geology more accessible to all from our own homes.

The YGS Virtual Field Trip project aims to create a series of structured virtual field excursions to some of our region’s favourite and best-known geological areas and localities that would be available online for all to enjoy.

Council has created and tested 4 demos of Virtual Field Trips using the Google Earth App, which is freely available online and can be used by both creators (‘leaders’) and users (‘participants’) on multiple devices. They include material from the Yorkshire Rocks and Landscapes guide, various YGS field trips, Council members’ personal photos, as well as online sources.

These pilot examples will form a foundation that we can build on, using readily available and free online tools; we hope they will encourage YGS members and corresponding societies to create a larger online portfolio.

Your Society now needs your help to create a successful Virtual Field Trip programme. Your suggestions for good & engaging virtual trips, and willingness to help create these, are critical to this programme’s success. At this stage I would ask you to look at the pilots when they are launched and think how and where you might be able to help. They will be accessible from early June 2020 through the publications page.

We would really value your thoughts and views on the pilot examples and any suggestions to enhance or improve them. We would also like to have your suggestions and ideas for other trips as we create the pilot Virtual Field Trip programme, and links to sources of online information we could use. Please send any comments and ideas to fieldtrips@yorksgeolsoc.org.uk so that we can plan our future priorities.

We hope that this will become an established part of the Society’s programme supplementing our existing outdoor and indoor meetings and help bring Yorkshire’s geology to all. It offers a new dimension of access to our region’s geology, contributing to our charitable objectives and offering those members who are unable to join our outdoor programme a way to participate in the activities of the Society.

Please see the latest Circular for a full version of Professor Mike Bowman's article about Virtual Field Trips

Wanting your geological fix during the Coronavirus lockdown?

Head to our meetings & field trips page to find links to freely available geological resources, webinars, talks, presentations and more.

If you're missing seeing your favourite Yorkshire geological sites, have you checked out our Instagram page? - it's full of images of the iconic & inspiring landscapes and geology that we all love so much.

President's Word

“Empty spaces, what are we living for? Abandoned places, I guess we know the score ….”

Followers of the legendary rock band Queen will no doubt recognise these opening lines from the lyrics of their song “The Show must go on.” It is with this old cliché in mind that Council held, on Saturday 28th March, what we believe to be the Society’s first ever foray into video conferencing. Council is determined to keep members abreast of developments and to assure everyone that the present restrictions will not get in the way of planning for the future.

This time of year we're usually happily informing members of the imminent outdoor meetings programme, but we will have to be content with armchair geology or examining more closely what lies on, or close to, our doorsteps. Like many of you I too have a diary full of crossed-out commitments many of them connected to Yorkshire Geology Month. Of the events I was scheduled to lead, participate in, or address nine were planning meetings, eight were talks and five were field trip days – and this only up to the end of May.

So, what to do in this unprecedented period of geological "inactivity"? How can we keep our interest going? Our Meetings & Field Trips page has some links to freely available online geological resources to help give you your geological "fix" whilst the lockdown is ongoing without breaking any of the Government's recommended "social distancing" protocols. The newly released “John Phillips – Yorkshire’s traveller through time” is a great read that will give some insight into an iconic character in the history & development of geology.

Of course we are all at liberty to exercise and it is surprising what you may find close to home. Take a look at the building materials, not only in the houses and shops but also in the construction of pavements, monuments, kerbs, walls, gravestones and particularly in churches and their environs. Whether you live in a rural or an urban area there will be some interesting rocks to examine and ones you may never have noticed before. My own “exercise route” in Brigg takes me past examples of Portland Stone, larvikite, early Jurassic limestone (with small Pentacrinites), Lincolnshire Limestone (including “streaky bacon rock” from Ancaster) and lots of flaggy Coal Measures sandstones. If I decide to change my route I will probably come across more rock types.

For some of us this provides a good opportunity to dig out those old field notebooks and unfinished projects and set about the completion of papers, information sheets or teaching resources. Perhaps the Principal Editor will soon be inundated with manuscripts from past YGS presidents as they put the final touches to the written versions of Presidental Addresses.

Perhaps a rendition of Judy Garland singing “Somewhere over the rainbow” would be appropriate at this point! Stay safe.

Paul Hildreth, YGS President

New ! A rare Belemnite find in Lincolnshire Limestone Formation

Read an article from YGS President Paul Hildreth about a recent find of a rare belemnite fossil in the Lincolnshire Limestone Formation

The fossil was found in a thin silty clay band in the lowest part of the geological succession exposed in the group of now disused quarries north Kirton Lindsey in North Lincolnshire.

It was extracted during a Hull Geological Society field trip to Manton Quarry (SE 938 027), which was led by the author in 2014. Despite several more visits to the same section, no other specimens have yet been found.

Find out more here.

NEW ! - John Phillips: Yorkshire's Traveller Through Time

available to BUY NOW !

We are delighted to announce that the latest book by Colin Speakman is now available to purchase.

This absorbing book shares John Phillips’s passion for the Yorkshire landscape, and in both word and image retraces his footsteps through Dales, Moors and Coast. It suggests how Phillips was an inspirational force behind Britain’s National Park and outdoor movement, one of the great early interpreters of the Yorkshire landscape who has influenced later generations in countless ways.

This book is also about another side of John Phillips – the pioneer walker-writer and artist. Having tramped thousands of miles in geological wanderings, Phillips produced two of the best early guidebooks to Yorkshire, including one of the world’s first-ever railway guidebooks.

Please visit our sales pages for further information and to order your copy online through PayPal.

BOOK REVEW, by Professor Colin Waters

See YGS Council member Prof. Colin Waters' insightful review of John Phillips: Yorkshire's Traveller Through Time, which is also available in YGS Circular 629.

IMPORTANT - Update on YGS Events and Covid-19

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 16 March of social distancing measures to slow the spread of Covid-19, all YGS events have been POSTPONED until further notice.

Please continue to visit this page for News about our events. We may consider re-scheduling postponed events later in 2020, though we are not able to advise on likely dates at the present time.

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.

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.