Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego geomagnetic observatory 1902-1917

 Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego lighthouse

A chance discovery among some photographs in the BGS Geomagnetic archive included this interesting image of a lighthouse. After much searching, this was identified as the Isla Observatorio at the southern tip of Argentina.

The following photograph is a good match for the fifth photo down on this history of the island, further evidence that this set of photographs is indeed the observatory on Isla Observatorio.

 Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego geomagnetic observatory

The Observatory was run by Lieutenant Commander Horacio Ballvé, who may be among the people pictured in the photo below.
Group photograph,  Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego geomagnetic observatory

The following show the inside of the magnetic observatory with some of the instruments.
 Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego geomagnetic observatory, instrument

 Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego geomagnetic observatory, instruments

 Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego geomagnetic observatory, instruments


 Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego geomagnetic observatory, instruments

Lastly are two photographs, one showing a small ship and the other a beach with southern sea lions.
 Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego geomagnetic observatory, ship


 Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego, southern sea lions

HISTAMAR Las expediciones de investigacion arqueologica de Carlos P. Vairo y el Museo Maritimo de Ushuaia. Faro de isla Año Nuevo, Monumento Nacional Dec.64/99.

Grondona, Vero  La isla de los estados y la Isla Observatorio, Tierra del Fuego

Posted by Bob McIntosh, image processing Fergus MacTaggart, historical advice by Dr. Phil Stone



Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Eli Simpson Archive, British Speleological Association

Transcription of Eli Simpson's notes

Transcription of Eli Simpson's notes

The Eli Simpson Archive is a major collection of c 100 large format record books full of exploration accounts, newspaper cuttings, maps, surveys, photographs and published articles compiled by Eli Simpson and other members of the British Speleological Association. These extracts give a flavour of the material found in the albums. These items are from the Gaping Gill album.

The collection was held for many years at the British Cave Research Association Library but are now held on deposit at the  National Geological Repository at British Geological Survey, Keyworth for safekeeping.

Archives such as this one are not only important for the historical viewpoint but are also important as a source of information that supports current research into karst geohazards.

A short account of of the Eli Simpson Archive can be found  on the British Caving Library website. It has links to the full Gaping Gill volume and the the catalogue of the collection at the British Geological Survey.

Transcriptions from various caving log books and publications

Transcriptions from various caving log books and publications

Old newspaper cuttings

Old newspaper cuttings

 Eli Simpson's photographs

 Eli Simpson's photographs

Posted by Bob McIntosh

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Brora Colliery and tile kilns 1929

Brora Colliery and tile kilns 1929

Brora coalfield is the most northerly in the UK. 

A H.D. Hewitt photograph. From the Geologists' Association photograph collection held on deposit at the British Geological Survey


Posted by Bob McIntosh

Thursday, 10 December 2015

1912 British Association Field Excursion to Inchnadamph - signatures

Signed copy of the North-West Higlands Memoir
Signatures in the North-West Highlands Memoir

During recent stocktaking at Murchison House, British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, a copy of the North-west Highlands Memoir (Peach et al, 1907) was found in the Palaeontological Department. It has been rebound but is in excellent condition with little signs of use and no obvious foxing. The memoir contains detailed descriptions of the Lewisian, Torridonian, Moine and Cambrian-Ordovician rocks in the Durness to Kyle of Lochalsh area, summarising the results of the survey’s detailed work there in the late 19th century. This copy patently belonged to John Horne who was Assistant Director in the Geological Survey in Scotland from 1901 until his retirement in 1911.

The fly leaf of the memoir contains the signatures of 29 attendees of the renowned 1912 excursion to Assynt, which followed on from a British Association meeting in Dundee in mid-September that year. This excursion, led by Peach and Horne, was attended by 31notable European and British geologists (see Barber, 2010). The flyleaf also contains the signatures relating to an excursion undertaken in 1914, when John Horne took a further party to Assynt. Attendees included Sir Alexander and Lady (Rachel Workman) MacRobert, but also included the well-known geologists Reginald A Daly and Professor Molengraaf. Rachel Workman, the daughter of the noted American mountaineers William and Fanny Workman, was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and gained a degree in geology from the University of London in 1902. She undertook research and published papers on alkaline igneous rocks (e.g. carbonatite and nepheline syenite) and was one of the first women to be elected a fellow of the Geological Society in 1919. Information on the MacRobert Trust, including her ladyship’s contribution to the Second World War, can be found at The MacRobert Trust. The memoir is to be archived by BGS.

Peach, B.N., Horne, J., Gunn, W., Clough, C.T., Hinxman, L.W. & Teall, J.J.H. (1907).  The geological structure of the northwest Highlands of Scotland.  Memoirs of the Geological Survey, U.K. 

Barber, A. J. 2010. Peach and Horne: the British Association excursion to Assynt September 1912. In Law, R.D., Butler, R.W.H., Holdsworth, R.E., Krabbendam, M. and Strachan, R.A. (editors) Continental Tectonics and Mountain Building: The Legacy of Peach and Horne. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 335, 29-49.

Dr. John Mendum

Photograph of the entire party of the Assynt Excursion led by B.N. Peach and J. Horne, taken outside the Inchnadamph Hotel during September 1912. Excursion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting held in Dundee.
Photograph of the entire party of the Assynt Excursion led by B.N. Peach and J. Horne, taken outside the Inchnadamph Hotel during September 1912. Excursion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting held in Dundee.

Photograph of the foreign visitors outside the Inchnadamph Hotel, Assynt Excursion held in September 1912, led by B.N. Peach and J. Horne. Excursion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting held in Dundee.
Photograph of the foreign visitors outside the Inchnadamph Hotel, Assynt Excursion held in September 1912, led by B.N. Peach and J. Horne. Excursion of the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting held in Dundee.

The 1914 Excursion. Photograph outside the Inchnadamph Hotel
The 1914 Excursion. Photograph outside the Inchnadamph Hotel



Title page of the famous North-West Highlands Memoir
Title page of the famous North-west Highlands Memoir

Posted by Dr. John Mendum

Sunday, 22 November 2015

CALX carbonata (calcite) from British mineralogy by James Sowerby 1802-1817

  CALX carbonata; var. inversa. Inverse crystallized Carbonate of Lime. Plate no. 143
BGS Image ID: P704769


  CALX carbonata; var. inversa. Inverse crystallized Carbonate of Lime. Plate no. 143

From: Sowerby, James. 1802-1817. British Mineralogy: Or Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain. Plate from vol: 2. page no.81.

CALX carbonata. Crystallised Carbonate of Lime. Plate no. 285
BGS Image ID: P704911
CALX carbonata. Crystallised Carbonate of Lime. Plate no. 285

From: Sowerby, James. 1802-1817. British Mineralogy: Or Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain. Plate from vol: 3. page no.171. Modern name: Calcite. Location: Samples from the Dimple mine near Matlock.


CALX carbonata, var. metastatica. Metastatic crystallised Carbonate of Lime. Plate no. 314
BGS Image ID: P704940
CALX carbonata, var. metastatica. Metastatic crystallised Carbonate of Lime. Plate no. 314

From: Sowerby, James. 1802-1817. British Mineralogy: Or Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain. Plate from vol: 4. page no.19. Modern name: Calcite. Location: Sample collected in Derbyshire.

Friday, 23 October 2015

William Edmond Logan - A Geological Pioneer


A geologist with the then Ordnance Geological Survey (now the British Geological Survey) from its inception in 1835 and a contemporary of Henry de la BecheWilliam Edmond Logan went on the become the first Director of the Geological Survey of Canada which was formed in 1842. He remained in that post until 1869 when he was succeeded by another pioneer of the British Geological Survey, Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn
 

William Edmond Logan (20 April 1798 - 22 June 1875)


Alfred Richard Cecil Selwyn
(20 July 1824 - 19 October 1902)
Henry Thomas De la Beche 
(10 February 1796 - 13 April 1855) 


























From the British Geological Survey Library in Edinburgh, the following images show a couple of early examples of the Exploration Geologique du Canada: Rapport de Progrès or the Geological Survey of Canada: Report of Progress, the first published in 1846 with the progress from the year 1844. 


Exploration Geologique du Canada: Rapport de Progrès 




















In a paper presented to the 'History of the Book in Canada’ Open Conference in May 2001: 
‘I wish these annual reports were at the devil’: William E. Logan and the publications of the Geological Survey of Canada,  Brian Shipley discusses the process undertaken by Logan in producing these Reports of Progress, revealing the objections Logan had in this approach to documenting the work of the Survey. 

Shipley's thesis; 'From Field to Fact: William E. Logan and the Geological Survey of Canada' is also available to download from Dalhousie University Library. 

A notable and honoured man, Logan is the subject of a Dinner Address made by J.M. Harrison at the Annual Dinner of the Geological Association of Canada on the 7th June 1963, which makes for an entertaining and informative read. 

Harrison, J.M. and Hall, E. (1963) Dinner Address: "William Edmond Logan". Proceedings of the Geological Association of Canada. Vol 15.  
                 
There are many routes for further exploration of the life and work of this celebrated Geologist, Written in Stone : William E. Logan and the Geological Survey of Canada is just one of them.


Posted by : Emma Illingworth

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Geological Survey of England and Wales 1:63,360 maps - map covers

Cover for sheet 286 Reigate (Drift ) 1:63,360 map. 1938.  Thi illustration on the cover is common to all sheets published at the time. Does anyone know if the place depicted is a real place?

Cover for the folded sheet 286 Reigate (Drift) 1:63,360 map. 1938.

The illustration on the cover is common to all sheets issued 'mounted in sections' at that time. Does anyone know if the place depicted is a real place and if so, where it is?


Panel from sheet 286 Reigate (Drift ) 1:63,360 map. 1938.

Panel from sheet 286 Reigate (Drift ) 1:63,360 map. 1938. The full map can be viewed in the BGS Maps Portal.

Cover for 1:63,360 Special sheet Arran. Published 1910
Cover for 1:63,360 Special sheet Arran. Published 1910.The full map can be viewed in the BGS Maps Portal.

Posted by Bob McIntosh

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Carte géologique du terrain entre le lac d'Orta et celui de Lugano. Leopold von Buch. [1829]

Extract from the map

Geological cross-section

Section of the key

Carte géologique du terrain entre le lac d'Orta et celui de Lugano. Leopold Buch. [1829].

An image of the full map can be found here

Christian Leopold von Buch (1774 – 1853) was a German geologist and paleontologist. He was the first Foreign Member of the Geological Society of London.

A biography of  Christian Leopold von Buch

Posted by Bob McIntosh

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Eruptive rocks of Brent Tor by Frank Rutley, 1878.

 Plate VIII.  Basalt with glassy magma mainly devitrified. Brent Tor, North-west side of the foot of the Tor, Magnification x55.

Plate VIII. 
Basalt with glassy magma mainly devitrified. Brent Tor, North-west side of the foot of the Tor, Magnification x55.

The 'Eruptive rocks of Brent Tor and its neigbourhood' was the first special petrographical work issued by the Geological Survey. It is dated 1878.  It denotes a time when microscopic examination of rocks collected during the mapping of new districts became routine. Colour chromolithographs.

Frank Rutley was also the author of Elements of Mineralogy first published in 1874 and still available in print today in its 27th edition!

Plate IX. 1. Decomposed Greenstone, Greston Bridge. 2. Slate beneath lower Greenstone, Greston Bridge. 3. Elvan, S. end of Shilla Mill Quarry (Polarized). 4.Mag'n. Mica and cavities in Quartz of Granite, Brazen Tor. 5. Fluid cavities containing cubes of NaCl, Brazen Tor. 6. Amygdaloidal Schalstein, Churlhanger, near Lamerton.
Plate IX.
1. Decomposed Greenstone, Greston Bridge.
2. Slate beneath lower Greenstone, Greston Bridge.
3. Elvan, S. end of Shilla Mill Quarry (Polarized).
4.Mag'n. Mica and cavities in Quartz of Granite, Brazen Tor.
5. Fluid cavities containing cubes of NaCl, Brazen Tor.
6. Amygdaloidal Schalstein, Churlhanger, near Lamerton.

Plate X No. 1 Hornblende, Pyrites and Quartz in Amphibolite, Brazen Tor, Devon No 2 Schorl in the Granulitic margin of the Granite in contact with No. 1 No 3. Pyroxene (probably Diallage) in Gabbro? Cottage Inn, Main Road to Marytavy. No. 4 Titaniferous Iron, partly altered (Gabbro) Cock's Tor, near Tavistock. Bo. 1 x55. Nos. 2,3 and 4 x25. ordinary transmitted light. On the surface of No. 4 a little light was also reflected simultaneously.


Plate X
No. 1 Hornblende, Pyrites and Quartz in Amphibolite, Brazen Tor, Devon
No 2 Schorl in the Granulitic margin of the Granite in contact with No. 1
No 3. Pyroxene (probably Diallage) in Gabbro? Cottage Inn, Main Road to Marytavy.
No. 4 Titaniferous Iron, partly altered (Gabbro) Cock's Tor, near Tavistock.
Bo. 1 x55. Nos. 2,3 and 4 x25. ordinary transmitted light. On the surface of No. 4 a little light was also reflected simultaneously.

Brent Tor. (South side near the base) x25 Brent Tor. (North side) x25
Brent Tor. (South side near the base) x25
Brent Tor. (North side) x25

A selection of plates from the memoir:

Brent Tor from Hart's Hall, near Morwellham

Brent Tor from Hart's Hall, near Morwellham
Great Staple Tor on the western Margin of Dartmoor (mural jointing in granite).

 Great Staple Tor on the western Margin of Dartmoor (mural jointing in granite).

The Master Rock, Horndon.

The Master Rock, Horndon. (woodcut)

Posted by Bob McIntosh


Sunday, 30 August 2015

Sunken lanes in southern England

Sunken lane, road from Thorncombe Street leading to Godalming via Munstead Heath, Surrey. Looking north-west at the road from Thorncombe Street (2 m. south-east of Godalming) leading to Godalming via Munstead Heath. A sunken lane in Hythe Beds.
BGS Image ID: P209857

Sunken lane, road from Thorncombe Street leading to Godalming via Munstead Heath, Surrey. Looking north-west at the road from Thorncombe Street (2 m. south-east of Godalming) leading to Godalming via Munstead Heath. A sunken lane in Hythe Beds. A section in 15 to 20 ft. of evenly-bedded loamy sand, containing seams of siliceous sandstone up to 3 inches thick. This road-cutting results from the wear caused by wheeled and hoofed transport over the years (before the road was metalled) and the removal of the sandy debris by rainwash and wind etc. on this sloping ground, which lies below the plateau formed by the Bargate Beds at the top of the hill beyond the car. The sunken roads of the Weald are a good example of man as a geological agent. Roads and farm tracks of this type are common over the whole of the Lower Greensand outcrop and in some localities on the outcrops of the Lower Tunbridge Wells Sand the Upper Greensand and the Chalk. All stages of their formation can be seen from simple tracks to cuttings 20 feet deep.


Sunken lane, South Ambersham. Deep sunken lane in Selham Ironshot Sands. These coarse-grained limonite-rich sands are a local development within the Lower Greensand.
BGS Image ID: P212403

Sunken lane, South Ambersham. Deep sunken lane in Selham Ironshot Sands. These coarse-grained limonite-rich sands are a local development within the Lower Greensand.


Sunken lane approximately 850 m. SSE of Tillington Church. Sunken lane in Lower Greensand sandstones.
BGS ImageID: P212907

Lane to the S. of Wotton hamlet. Sunken lane in Hythe Beds near Wotton.

Sunken lane approximately 850 m. SSE of Tillington Church. Sunken lane in Lower Greensand sandstones. Pale fawn silty sandstones in Lower Greensand exposed in west side of lane. Fine-grained sands with nodular chert horizons are present.
BGS ImageID: P212404

Sunken lane approximately 850 m. SSE of Tillington Church. Sunken lane in Lower Greensand sandstones. Pale fawn silty sandstones in Lower Greensand exposed in west side of lane. Fine-grained sands with nodular chert horizons are present.

Posted by: Bob McIntosh