Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Iguanodon, Elephant, Bison, Rhinoceros and other saurian remains 1911.

Thigh bone of Iguanadon, Wealden Beds, Brook, Isle of Wight. E.T. Martin

Thigh bone of Iguanodon, Wealden Beds, Brook, Isle of Wight. E.T. Martin.


Rhaetic Bone Bed. saurian and fish remains. Garden Cliff. Gloucestershire. J.W. Fletcher.

Rhaetic Bone Bed. saurian and fish remains. Garden Cliff. Gloucestershire. J.W. Fletcher.

Elephant and Rhinoceras. Barrington Beds. Cambridgeshire. H.M. Krusin 15.6.1911

Elephant and Rhinoceros. Barrington Beds. Cambridgeshire. H.M. Krusin 15.6.1911

Bison, Elephant and Rhinoceras, barrington beds. Barrington Cambridgeshire 15.6.1911

Bison, Elephant and Rhinoceros, Barrington Beds. Barrington Cambridgeshire 15.6.1911

Images from the Geologists' Association 'Carreck Archive' held at the British Geological Survey

Bob McIntosh

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Searching for Palaeolithic implements, Milton Street Gravel Pits, Kent. 1908.

Caption: Workmen with rods for searching for Palaeolithic implements, Milton Street Gravel Pits, Kent. T.W. Reader 23.5.08. [1908]

Caption: Workmen with rods for searching for Palaeolithic implements, Milton Street Gravel Pits, Kent. T.W. Reader 23.5.08. [1908]


Caption: Some members examine the Flint Implement collection of Mr. Treacher.  [Llewellyn Treacher] T.R.W. 25.6.10 [1910]

Caption: Some members examining the Flint Implement collection of Mr. Treacher.  [Llewellyn Treacher] T.R.W. 25.6.10 [1910]

Photographs are from the Geologists' Association 'Carreck Archive' on deposit at the British Geological Survey.

Bob McIntosh



Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Christmas card from J V Harrison, 1930

Christmas card from J V Harrison
BGS image ID: P700432

Christmas card from J V Harrison
BGS image ID: P700433


Aiuuk Bivouack, Bakht-i-ari Mountains, Persia
BGS image ID: P700434

This Christmas card from J V Harrison shows Aiuuk Bivouack in the Bakht-i-ari mountains of Persia (now Iran).

John Vernon Harrison was born on 16 March 1892. He graduated with a BSc with distinctions in Chemistry and Geology from the University of Glasgow in 1914.  In 1916-1918 he served with the Royal Engineers in Mesopotamia. In 1918 he joined the geological staff of the Anglo Persian Oil Company. He carried out field work in Persia and Iraq (1918-1920) and then travelled to many places including Honduras (1920-1922), United States and Mexico (1922-1923),  North Borneo, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada (1924), Peru (1924-1925), Jamaica (1925), Venezuela (1925-1926), Trinidad (1926-1927) and Colombia (1927-1928). Much of his time after 1928 was spent in Persia until he was appointed Lecturer in Geology at Oxford University in 1938. Summer vacations allowed him to travel to the Peruvian Andes with some of his students. During World War II he was seconded to the Admiralty for geographical work. After the war he was appointed Reader in Structural Geology back at Oxford. He retired in 1959, was awarded the Lyell Medal in 1961and died on 31 July 1972

A catalogue of Harrison's collection at the British Gelogical Survey Archives can be accessed here

Andrew L Morrison

http://www.exploreyourarchive.org/

Monday, 9 December 2013

Ballochmyle Quarry, Mauchline. Ayrshire, 1921

Ballochmyle Quarry, Mauchline. Ayrshire. New Red Sandstone (Permian) red desert sandstones showing large-scale aeolian (wind-blown) dune-bedding. The huge size of the quarry is indicated by the scale of the quarrymen – the quarry is often over 64 m deep. Access to the working face by ladder is clearly seen. Health & safety was not what is today! Large blocks are lifted by crane powered by a vertical steam boiler. The sandstone consists of well-sorted, mostly rounded and frosted sand grains. They are red in colour due to a coating of haematite, an iron oxide.
BGS Image ID: P000071
Ballochmyle Quarry, Mauchline. Ayrshire. New Red Sandstone (Permian) red desert sandstones showing large-scale aeolian (wind-blown) dune-bedding. The huge size of the quarry is indicated by the scale of the quarrymen – the quarry is often over 64 m deep. Access to the working face by ladder is clearly seen. Health & safety was not what is today! Large blocks are lifted by crane powered by a vertical steam boiler. 

Date of image: 1921.

A sample of Ballochmyle sandstone from the National Building Stone Collection held at the British Geological Survey. Econ. 7471.
BGS Image ID: P753273
A sample of Ballochmyle sandstone from the National Building Stone Collection held at the British Geological Survey. Econ. 7471. The sandstone consists of well-sorted, mostly rounded and frosted sand grains. They are red in colour due to a coating of haematite, an iron oxide.

Emily Tracey
Building Stones Conservation Specialist. 
Visit the new building stones web pages 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Horsey coastal inundation, Norfolk 1938.

Horsey inundation, Norfolk. 1938.
BGS image ID: P256624
Horsey inundation 1938. Course of the 'hundred streams'.

Horsey inundation, Norfolk. 1938.
BGS image ID: P256625
Horsey inundation 1938. Looking inland from south edge of gap which finally reached length of 500 yards.

Horsey inundation, Norfolk. 1938.
BGS image ID: P256626
Horsey inundation 1938. Peat exposed in foreshore by cutting back of beach.

Horsey inundation, Norfolk. 1938.
BGS image ID: P256627
Horsey inundation 1938. View from behind temporary defences, looking seaward.

'Village of Horsey again inundated' Newspaper article 1938.

Images taken by H. Ashley. From the British Association for the Advancement of Science photograph collection. The collection is on permanent deposit with the British Geological Survey.

Historical photographs are often valuable evidence when comparing geological processes over time.

Bob McIntosh
http://www.exploreyourarchive.org/

Monday, 2 December 2013

Cowbar Nab, Staithes, Yorkshire Coast, 1897

BGS Image ID: P243611
Cowbar Nab, Staithes, Yorkshire Coast. Jurassic Lias rocks for the headland. Photographs by W.J. Harrison, held in British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) photographic print collection on deposit at the British Geological Survey.
BGS Image ID: P243612

Cowbar Nab, Staithes, Yorkshire Coast. Jurassic Lias rocks for the headland. Photographs by W.J. Harrison, held in British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) photographic print collection on deposit at the British Geological Survey.

Has there been any substantial change since this photograph was taken in 1897?

Bob McIntosh


http://www.exploreyourarchive.org/

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Group photograph of geologists on a trip to Sweden, Norway and Lapland 1909/1910

Group photograph from the Lady Rachel MacRobert collection. British Geological Survey Archives: LSA 213.  Rachel Workman (later to become Lady Rachel MacRobert) is in the centre row third from the right next to John Horne with the bushy moustache and prominent side-burns. Back-row, far right is Sir Alexander MacRobert who married Rachel Workman in 1911.
BGS image ID: P883132

Group photograph from the Lady Rachel MacRobert collection. British Geological Survey Archives: LSA 213.  

Participants include John Horne, middle row, fourth from right (with moustache and prominent side-burns) Rachel Workman (later to become Lady Rachel MacRobert), middle row, third from right. Sir Alexander MacRobert is in the back row on the far right.  Edward Battersby Bailey, front row, second from the right (with hat)

Rachel Workman and  Sir Alexander MacRobert married in 1911. 

The photograph was possibly taken before/after a trip to Sweden, Norway and Lapland in 1909/1910. The trip included a stay with the Emperor of Lapland as well as with Dr Lundbohm, originator of the Swedish Ironworks. Rachel Workman's diary also mentions a Mr. Bailey, a young Highland surveyor, we believe Bailey is front row, second from the right (with hat).

Places mentioned in Rachel Workman's diary are Narvik and the snow mountains of Torne Trask and Gellivare. 

Many thanks to Vicky Duke of the The MacRobert Trust who supplied most of this information and the identification of Rachel Workman (Lady Rachel MacRobert).

Does any reader know any of the other participants or able to provide information about the background to the trip e.g. was the trip related to the 1910 International Geological Congress held in Sweden in 1910?

Bob McIntosh

http://www.exploreyourarchive.org/

Monday, 25 November 2013

Letter from Charles Darwin to Trenham Reeks

Letter from Charles Darwin to Trenham Reeks (Page 1 of 3)
BGS image ID: P883129
 
Letter from Charles Darwin to Trenham Reeks (Page 2 of 3)
BGS image ID: P883130
 
Letter from Charles Darwin to Trenham Reeks (Page 3 of 3)
BGS image ID: P883131

This letter from Charles Darwin to Trenham Reeks was written on 13 August 1858 and concerns some slate reliefs that Darwin wanted to sell. The letter has been transcribed as part of the Darwin Correspondence Project and can be read here .

Andrew L Morrison

http://www.exploreyourarchive.org/

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Three Scottish building stone specimens

Rock specimen of sandstone from Bloody Mires Quarry, Kippen Muir, Central Region, Scotland.  Sample of red sandstone, showing uniform grainsize and colour. This specimen is of Devonian age. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC2092. This sample is from an abandoned quarry which may have been used for local building stone. Red sandstone was commonly used in Scotland from the late 19th century. The largest and most significant quarries of red sandstone in Scotland were in Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire, from where the stone was transported by railway.
BGS Image ID: P519461
Rock specimen of sandstone from Bloody Mires Quarry, Kippen Muir, Central Region, Scotland.

Sample of red sandstone, showing uniform grainsize and colour. This specimen is of Devonian age. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC2092. This sample is from an abandoned quarry which may have been used for local building stone. Red sandstone was commonly used in Scotland from the late 19th century. The largest and most significant quarries of red sandstone in Scotland were in Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire, from where the stone was transported by railway.


Rock specimen of sandstone from Hailes Quarry, Edinburgh, Lothian Region, Scotland.   Oblique photograph of a specimen of Hailes sandstone, with the name of the quarry carved on one side. This specimen is of Carboniferous age. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC1318. The upper surface has been left in its natural state, showing the uneven bedding surface. Such samples were prepared by the quarry in order to market the stone. This sample dates from before the First World War. Size of specimen: 11x11x5 cm. Munsell colour code and colour 5YR8/1, pinkish grey.
BGS Image ID: P519533
Rock specimen of sandstone from Hailes Quarry, Edinburgh, Lothian Region, Scotland.

Oblique photograph of a specimen of Hailes sandstone, with the name of the quarry carved on one side. This specimen is of Carboniferous age. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC1318. The upper surface has been left in its natural state, showing the uneven bedding surface. Such samples were prepared by the quarry in order to market the stone. This sample dates from before the First World War. Size of specimen: 11x11x5 cm. Munsell colour code and colour 5YR8/1, pinkish grey.


Specimen of roofing slate quarried from Easdale Island, Argyllshire, Scotland This slate shows the trade mark stamp of the Easdale Slate Company. The specimen is of Precambrian, Dalradian age. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number EMC 5736. The slate is a typical dark grey colour with a strong 'grain' and containing pyrite crystals. This specimen was donated to the Geological Survey of Scotland sometime before 1916. For hundreds of years slate was the preferred roofing material in Scotland. The geological variation found in slate quarries from across Scotland meant that each produced a characteristic slate, with a colour, texture and thickness varying from region to region.
BGS Image ID: P519560
Specimen of roofing slate quarried from Easdale Island, Argyllshire, Scotland

This slate shows the trade mark stamp of the Easdale Slate Company. The specimen is of Precambrian, Dalradian age. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number EMC 5736. The slate is a typical dark grey colour with a strong 'grain' and containing pyrite crystals. This specimen was donated to the Geological Survey of Scotland sometime before 1916. For hundreds of years slate was the preferred roofing material in Scotland. The geological variation found in slate quarries from across Scotland meant that each produced a characteristic slate, with a colour, texture and thickness varying from region to region.

Bob McIntosh

Friday, 22 November 2013

Sheringham beach. Ring of flint.

Sheringham beach. Ring of flint.  Original image number BAAS03432. From the British Association for the Advancement of Science photograph collection
 BGS Image ID: P241299

Sheringham beach. Ring of flint. Image taken 1886.

Original image number BAAS03432. From the British Association for the Advancement of Science photograph collection

Bob McIntosh

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

St. Mary's Church, Sompting, West Sussex. Saxon church constructed from quarried flints

St. Mary's Church, Sompting, West Sussex.  This church with its rare but distinctive Saxon tower with a 'gabled pyramidal cap' or Rheinish Helm (Rhineland Helmet) is suggestive of early German (Saxon) architectural influence. Nevertheless it is built principally of flint nodules and local sandstones from the Weald Clay Formation. The walls of Sompting Church are built mainly of undressed flint nodules. The quoins are of a variety of rock types, some possibly derived from older buildings. The nave and transept are roofed with thin sandstone slabs from the Weald Clay. The unusual tower of this church is an important Saxon structure. Many of the churches of West Sussex were principally constructed from locally 'quarried' flints, the only suitable building stone readily available. The Rheinish Helm on top of the tower is an original Anglo-Saxon spire, the only one in the country.
BGS image ID: P212490
St. Mary's Church, Sompting, West Sussex.

This church with its rare but distinctive Saxon tower with a 'gabled pyramidal cap' or Rheinish Helm (Rhineland Helmet) is suggestive of early German (Saxon) architectural influence. Nevertheless it is built principally of flint nodules and local sandstones from the Weald Clay Formation. The walls of Sompting Church are built mainly of undressed flint nodules. The quoins are of a variety of rock types, some possibly derived from older buildings. The nave and transept are roofed with thin sandstone slabs from the Weald Clay. The unusual tower of this church is an important Saxon structure. Many of the churches of West Sussex were principally constructed from locally 'quarried' flints, the only suitable building stone readily available. The Rheinish Helm on top of the tower is an original Anglo-Saxon spire, the only one in the country.

Original BGS photograph number: A 133394. Date of image 1979.

Virtual tour: The Friends of Sompting Church

Bob McIntosh


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Concretion, near Cove Harbour, Berwickshire

Concretion. Shore, 0.4 km. east of Cove Harbour, 1.3 km. north-east of Cockburnspath, Berwickshire. Concretionary balls with calcareous cement in a sandstone of Ballagan Formation, Inverclyde Group (formerly Calciferous Sandstone Measures). This is an exceptionally large concretion which forms when minerals (here calcite but can also be silica) migrate towards a centre and concentrate into a discrete spherical body. Carboniferous strata in the Cockburnspath to Dunbar area rest on Silurian rocks of the Southern Uplands terrane and form the landward margin of a large basin which extends eastwards into the North Sea. When rocks are deformed, the concretions also deform, commonly into ellipsoids. By making an assumption about their original shape, the proportions of the deformed concretions can be used as a measure of the amount of deformation.
BGS Image ID: P002240
Concretion. Shore, 0.4 km. east of Cove Harbour, 1.3 km. north-east of Cockburnspath, Berwickshire. 

Concretionary balls with calcareous cement in a sandstone of Ballagan Formation, Inverclyde Group (formerly Calciferous Sandstone Measures). This is an exceptionally large concretion which forms when minerals (here calcite but can also be silica) migrate towards a centre and concentrate into a discrete spherical body. Carboniferous strata in the Cockburnspath to Dunbar area rest on Silurian rocks of the Southern Uplands terrane and form the landward margin of a large basin which extends eastwards into the North Sea. When rocks are deformed, the concretions also deform, commonly into ellipsoids. By making an assumption about their original shape, the proportions of the deformed concretions can be used as a measure of the amount of deformation.

The Ballagan Beds is the same formation the nearby TW:eed Project were drilling while looking for 'Romers Gap'. It was a scientific research project undertaken this year to study fossils and environments from the Early Carboniferous Tournaisian Stage, roughly 350 million years ago.

BGS Old photograph number:  C02038. Date of photograph: 1914.

Bob McIntosh

Friday, 15 November 2013

China Clay works, Lantern Pit and Cleaves Pit, North Cornwall, April 16th 1914

Lantern Pit, North Cornwall, April 16th 1914
BGS Image ID: P804212
Lantern Pit, North Cornwall, April 16th 1914

Cleaves Pit, North Cornwall, April 16th 1914.
BGS Image ID: P804218
Cleaves Pit, North Cornwall, April 16th 1914.

China clay is a material called kaolin and was used to make fine white porcelain. The extraction of China clay in the St. Austell area was one of the great extractive industries in Cornwall.

Bob McIntosh

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Happy birthday - Sir Charles Lyell born 14 November 1797

Portrait, Charles Lyell, born 14 November 1797.
BGS Image ID: P517443

Charles Lyell, Bart. born 14 November 1797.

Sir Charles Lyell, a Scottish geologist was born 14 November 1797 near Kinnordy, near Kirriemuir. He was author  of 'Principles of geology', published in 1830, it was a major work at the time that supported James Hutton's view on Uniformitarianism. He was also a keen supporter of geological surveys.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) and Heriot-Watt University are joining forces to create a new centre for earth and marine science and technology. Based in Edinburgh it will be called the Sir Charles Lyell Centre and will be one of Europe's leading centres for research and expertise in the earth and marine sciences. The centre is scheduled to open by 2015.

Jointly funded by UK and Scottish funders, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Heriot-Watt University, The Sir Charles Lyell Centre will promote innovative research at the core of geoscience, marine ecology, computing, mathematics and engineering. The Lyell Centre will create a world-leading research cluster bringing science and technology together to tackle major issues of natural resource and energy supply in a responsible and sustainable way.

Full press release on the new centre.

Bob McIntosh

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Landslip under Southdown between Beer Headland and Branscombe 1789-80

Landslip under Southdown between Beer Headland and Branscombe which took place in 1789-90.
BGS image: P804446
Landslip under Southdown between Beer Headland and Branscombe which took place in 1789-90 looking Westward to Sidmouth Torbay and the Start Point. Artists impression filed with Excursion to Lyme Regis, June 1st 1914.

From the Geologists' Association 'Carreck Archive' on deposit at the British Geological Survey.

Does anyone have a recent picture of this spot?

Bob McIntosh

Friday, 8 November 2013

Origins of the British Geological Survey - a poster


The British Geological Survey has had a long history. Its origin was as part of the Ordnance Survey. It became a separate geological organization by 'Act of Parliament' in 1845 called the Geological Survey of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1965 it became a component institute of Natural Environment Research Council and the survey changed its name to Institute of Geological Sciences. There was a great expansion, it incorporated the Overseas Geological Survey which had it origins in the earlier Imperial Institute, also the units covering seismology and geomagnetism, the latter descended from the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. In 1984 the survey changed its name to the current British Geological Survey. In 2013 the the ownership and governance model is again under review.

The poster was created for a BGS Open Day.

Bob McIntosh


Friday, 25 October 2013

ZINCUM oxygenizatum, var. siliciferum. Silical Oxide of Zinc. From Sowerby, British Mineralogy

ZINCUM oxygenizatum, var. siliciferum. Silical Oxide of Zinc. From Sowerby, British Mineralogy
BGS image ID: P705088

ZINCUM oxygenizatum, var. siliciferum. Silical Oxide of Zinc. Plate no. 462. From: Sowerby, James. 1802-1817. British Mineralogy: Or Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain. Plate from vol: 5. page no.110. Location: Wanlockhead.

Bob McIntosh

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Crushed samples of feldspar from Scotland

Crushed samples of feldspar from Scotland   Potash feldspar was first in demand for the production of fertilizers, later during the Second World War deposits of potash feldspar were investigated for the production of ceramic ware. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC 7436. To extract the potash numerous methods have been devised. They include 1. Simple wet grinding and electrolysis, this proved unsuccessful and only one-third of the alkali present could be extracted by this method. 2. Treatment with chemical solutions, either caustic alkalis or acids. 3. Volatization of potash-salts, this involved heating feldspar with gypsum and carbon with potassium sulphate being volatilized and then recovered. 4. A number of dry processes for the separation of potash existed e.g. separation of potash as hydroxide or carbonate; as sodium or potassium chlorides; extraction of sodium and potassium sulphate.
BGS image ID:  P527656

Crushed samples of feldspar from Scotland 

Potash feldspar was first in demand for the production of fertilizers, later during the Second World War deposits of potash feldspar were investigated for the production of ceramic ware. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC 7436. To extract the potash numerous methods have been devised. They include 1. Simple wet grinding and electrolysis, this proved unsuccessful and only one-third of the alkali present could be extracted by this method. 2. Treatment with chemical solutions, either caustic alkalis or acids. 3. Volatization of potash-salts, this involved heating feldspar with gypsum and carbon with potassium sulphate being volatilized and then recovered. 4. A number of dry processes for the separation of potash existed e.g. separation of potash as hydroxide or carbonate; as sodium or potassium chlorides; extraction of sodium and potassium sulphate.

Bob McIntosh

Friday, 20 September 2013

British Association Section C. Dublin, 1908

Group photograph taken at the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting in Dublin, 1908.

Group photograph taken at the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting in Dublin, 1908. Gertrude Elles in centre, front row. Includes Tempest Anderson whose centenary it is this year.

Photograph from the Geologist Association Carreck Archive on deposit at the British Geological Survey.

Group photograph taken at the British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting in Dublin, 1908. Key to people.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Inscribed copy of Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report

Inscribed cover of Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report
BGS image ID: P858063
The inscription on this copy of the Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report reads "To Prof. Dunham. Best wishes from the crew of Apollo 15" followed by the signatures of the three crew members Dave Scott, Al Worden and Jim Irwin.

The Professor Dunham referred to is Kingsley Charles Dunham (1910-2001) who was the Professor of Geology at the University of Durham, 1950-1967 and Director of the Institute of Geological Sciences (now the British Geological Survey), 1967-1975.

Apollo 15 was launched on 26 July 1971, landed on the Moon on 30 July and splashed down back on Earth on 7 August. (Information from NASA mission pages). The report can be viewed here.

The British Geological Survey uses remote sensing techniques to study planetary geoscience. More can be read about that here.

Andrew L Morrison

Monday, 9 September 2013

Ben Peach field notebook sketch

 Landscape sketch by Ben Peach, Victorian geologist.
BGS image: P612917

 Landscape sketch by Ben Peach, Victorian geologist. 

Can anyone say where in Scotland this is?

Full two page picture:






Bob McIntosh

Monday, 2 September 2013

Quarrying Caithness Flagstones, Stonegunn Quarry, c. 1910

Stonegunn Quarry, 4.8 km. south-east of Thurso. Caithness. Method of levering the flagstones. The horizontal bed of rock is first split using chisels hammered in with a sledgehammer. It is then levered off the bedding plane with a crowbar. A quarryman in dress of the time (c.1910) is clearly seen. The rock is Devonian (Old Red Sandstone) Caithness Flagstones. After splitting each flag is taken away by means of crane and is subjected to preliminary squaring.
BGS Image ID: P000022
Stonegunn Quarry, 4.8 km. south-east of Thurso. Caithness. Method of levering the flagstones. The horizontal bed of rock is first split using chisels hammered in with a sledgehammer. It is then levered off the bedding plane with a crowbar. A quarryman in dress of the time (c.1910) is clearly seen. The rock is Devonian (Old Red Sandstone) Caithness Flagstones. After splitting each flag is taken away by means of crane and is subjected to preliminary squaring.

Bob McIntosh

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Cardioceras densiplicatum Boden. A fossil ammonite.

A fossil specimen of Cardioceras densiplicatum Boden. A fossil ammonite. (Mollusca, Cephalopoda, Ammonoidea.) 300 yards due south of Clyneleish House, Clyneleish, Brora, Sutherland, Scotland.
BGS image ID: P521013

A fossil specimen of Cardioceras densiplicatum Boden. A fossil ammonite. (Mollusca, Cephalopoda, Ammonoidea.) 300 yards due south of Clyneleish House, Clyneleish, Brora, Sutherland, Scotland.

The genus Cardioceras belongs to the Subfamily Cardioceratinae. This specimen is from Brora, an important and well known Jurassic outcrop in East Sutherland. It is Callovian in age, which is the lowest division of the Upper Jurassic, a period marked by a marine transgression. British Geological Survey Biostratigraphy Collection number GSE 10338. Green Spot. Cardioceras is an ammonite with a moderately compressed shell, with a large outer whorl that becomes smooth. It has a strong keel and well differentiated ribs. The Cardioceratinae comprises four important genera, Quenstedtoceras, Goliathiceras, Cardioceras and Amoeboceras, they succeed each other stratigraphically with little overlap. Figd. W.J. Arkell, Mon. Pal. Soc. Vol. XCVI, 1943, pt VIII, pl LIII, fig 7; Figd. N.W. Hylland, Regional Handbook, pl XII, fig. 8.

The 'GB3D Type Fossils Online project' website has been launched today. Large numbers of fossil images are available including 3D images!

Bob McIntosh

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Trilobite. Acernaspis woodbarnensis Clarkson, Eldridge and Henry.

A fossil specimen of Acernaspis woodbarnensis Clarkson, Eldridge and Henry. A fossil trilobite. (Arthropoda, Trilobita.) Near head of Bargany Burn, flowing west of house, 4 miles north-north-west of Barr, Ayrshire, Scotland. British Geological Survey Biostratigraphy Collection number GSE 5780. Paratype.
BGS image ID: P521140
A fossil specimen of Acernaspis woodbarnensis Clarkson, Eldridge and Henry. A fossil trilobite. (Arthropoda, Trilobita.) Near head of Bargany Burn, flowing west of house, 4 miles north-north-west of Barr, Ayrshire, Scotland. British Geological Survey Biostratigraphy Collection number GSE 5780. Paratype.

The exoskeleton of Acernaspis can clearly be seen. It has a central axis and two side regions called pleurae. It is separated from anterior to posterior into a cephalon or head-shield, a thorax and a pygidium or tail-shield. The central region of the cephalon is called the glabella. Note the compound convex eye (like a fly's) made up of a number of separate lenses. This would give them a wide field of view forwards, backwards, sideways and upwards. The trilobites are the earliest of the arthropods. First found in rocks of Lower Cambrian age, they died out in the Permian. Throughout their 350 million year history they maintained a remarkable constancy of form, though with many varieties. All trilobites were marine. Figd. Clarkson, Elderidge, & Henry, pal. 20,plate 19, figs. 12,13.

BGS are involved in the 'GB3D Type Fossils Online project' where a large number of fossil images will be made available on the web including 3D images!

Bob McIntosh


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Sandstone from Ladycross Quarry, Slaley, Northumberland

Rock specimen of sandstone from Ladycross Quarry, Slaley, Northumberland, England. The sandstone is fine-grained with a speckled appearance due to the presence of abundant small dark grains of iron oxide. This specimen is of Carboniferous age. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC6198. It contains parallel bedding laminae defined by thin dark surfaces of mica and iron oxide, and distinctive red-brown banding which represents iron oxidation fronts where iron oxides in the sandstone have undergone alteration and oxidation to form vivid colours. These fronts are generally parallel to bedding, but in some places they cut across it. Such thinly-bedded sandstones were historically used for paving, they could be easily split into regular thin sizes. Quarries such as Hailes in Edinburgh provided much paving in the past for that city. Nowadays with the old quarries now infilled, stones like this from Slaley are available for repair and restoration work. Size of specimen: 10x10x7 cm. Munsell colour code and colour N8 to 10YR7/2, variable from very light grey to pale orange.
BGS image ID: P524065
Rock specimen of sandstone from Ladycross Quarry, Slaley, Northumberland, England.

The sandstone is fine-grained with a speckled appearance due to the presence of abundant small dark grains of iron oxide. This specimen is of Carboniferous age. British Geological Survey Petrology Collection sample number MC6198. It contains parallel bedding laminae defined by thin dark surfaces of mica and iron oxide, and distinctive red-brown banding which represents iron oxidation fronts where iron oxides in the sandstone have undergone alteration and oxidation to form vivid colours. These fronts are generally parallel to bedding, but in some places they cut across it. Such thinly-bedded sandstones were historically used for paving, they could be easily split into regular thin sizes. Quarries such as Hailes in Edinburgh provided much paving in the past for that city. Nowadays with the old quarries now infilled, stones like this from Slaley are available for repair and restoration work. Size of specimen: 10x10x7 cm. Munsell colour code and colour N8 to 10YR7/2, variable from very light grey to pale orange.

BGS have over 4300 images from the National Building Stone Collection online in the Geoscenic image resource. They can be browsed either by rock type/place or place/rock type.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Geological Survey Department of Northern Rhodesia, c.1960

 
Staff of the Geological Survey Department of Northern Rhodesia, 1956
BGS image ID: P856634

This photograph of the staff of the Geological Survey Department of Northern Rhodesia was taken outside their headquarters in Lusaka in around 1960. Sitting in the middle of the front row is William Henry Reeve from whose collection this picture comes. Reeve (1906-?) was Mineral exploration geologist in Northern and Southern Rhodesia for the Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa (1930-1933), Assistant field geologist, Tanganyika (1935-1939), Assistant field geologist, Nyasaland (1943), Engineer-Geologist, Kenya (1943-1951), Chief Geologist, Northern Rhodesia (1951-1952) and Director of the Geological Survey Department, Northern Rhodesia (1952-1961).

A newspaper article which covered the opening of the HQ in 1956 reported that "Mr W H Reeve, Director of the Geological Survey, said the department now had, for the first time, many facilities of educational value, including an ore museum, a scientific and technical reference library, new laboratories and a drawing office."

Andrew L Morrison

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Tar River Estate House, Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat.

The Tar River Estate House on 17th September 1996 with a dome-collapse pyroclastic flow passing behind down the Tar River valley. This dome collapse continued for more than nine hours. A large part of the dome collapsed on 17th September and this caused a rapid reduction in pressure over the vent at the summit of the volcano. As a result, shortly before midnight, there was a magmatic explosion during which blocks of lava 1.5 m. in diameter were blasted 2.1 km. from the dome. The ongoing eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano has devastated much of the small Caribbean island of Montserrat. The eruption of the lava dome-building volcano began in 1995 and volcanic hazards have included pyroclastic flows, pyroclastic surges, vulcanian explosions, lateral blasts, ash clouds and lahars.
BGS image ID: P063643
The Tar River Estate House on 17th September 1996 with a dome-collapse pyroclastic flow passing behind down the Tar River valley. This dome collapse continued for more than nine hours. A large part of the dome collapsed on 17th September and this caused a rapid reduction in pressure over the vent at the summit of the volcano. As a result, shortly before midnight, there was a magmatic explosion during which blocks of lava 1.5 m. in diameter were blasted 2.1 km. from the dome. The ongoing eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano has devastated much of the small Caribbean island of Montserrat. The eruption of the lava dome-building volcano began in 1995 and volcanic hazards have included pyroclastic flows, pyroclastic surges, vulcanian explosions, lateral blasts, ash clouds and lahars.

BGS hold an extensive photographic archive of the volcanic activity on Montserrat. 23,000 images are available on Geoscenic, the BGS online image service.

Bob McIntosh

Monday, 5 August 2013

Poster advertising exhibition of a human fossil

Poster advertising exhibition of a human fossil
BGS image ID: P849851
This poster was found in the back of a scrapbook that belonged to Roderick Murchison (1792-1871) who was Director of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, 1855-1871. The Cuvier referred to is Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier (1769-1832), generally known as Georges Cuvier. He was a comparative anatomist, zoologist, geologist and vertebrate palaeontologist and a proponent of catastrophism.

Andrew L Morrison

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Cinder cones on Etna, 1892.

Cinder cones on Etna. This is one of a series of photographs taken July to September 1892 that gave rise to the Monti Silvestri crater row.   Presented by Professor G. Platania of Aci Reale, Sicily. Photograph held in the BGS Archives, Keyworth. Archive reference GSM/GX/Pa/1.
BGS Image ID: P711323
This is one of a series of photographs taken July to September 1892 that gave rise to the Monti Silvestri crater row. 

Presented by Professor G. Platania of Aci Reale, Sicily. Photograph held in the BGS Archives, Keyworth. Archive reference GSM/GX/Pa/1.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Some Account of the Strata and Volcanic Appearances... 1790.

Fig. 1. View of the Glen near Ardlun Head in Mull. Fig. 2. View of the insulated Rock at the termination of the Glen. Fig. 3. A view of the great Fissure, the Cave and the suspended Stones, in the Island of Mull. The fissure ranges N. and S., is about ten feet wide and forty yards deep: the sides and the suspended stones are granite.  From: Some account of the Strata and Volcanic Appearances in the North of Ireland and Western Isles of Scotland. In two letters from Abraham Mills Esq. to John Lloyd, Esq. F.R.S. Read January 21, 1790. Published in Phil. Trans. Vol LXXX.

Fig. 1. View of the Glen near Ardlun Head in Mull.
Fig. 2. View of the insulated Rock at the termination of the Glen.
Fig. 3. A view of the great Fissure, the Cave and the suspended Stones, in the Island of Mull. The fissure ranges N. and S., is about ten feet wide and forty yards deep: the sides and the suspended stones are granite.

From: Some account of the Strata and Volcanic Appearances in the North of Ireland and Western Isles of Scotland. In two letters from Abraham Mills Esq. to John Lloyd, Esq. F.R.S. Read January 21, 1790. Published in Phil. Trans. Vol LXXX. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

James Croll

BGS image ID: P742383
James Croll was born in 1821, the son of a Perthshire stonemason and crofter. He was to suffer from ill health throughout his life. In 1864, while working as janitor, he published the paper The physical cause of the change of climate during geological epochs. This proposed the theory that variations in the earth’s orbit were responsible for cyclical climate changes, including ice ages. In 1867 he was offered the position of office-keeper at the Scottish branch of the Geological Survey. This job left him sufficient freedom to pursue his climate studies and resulted in the publication of the book Climate and Time (1875).

In 2010 the Quaternary Research Association established the James Croll Medal, its highest award for merit.
Andrew L Morrison

Friday, 12 July 2013

Letter about C B Wedd being a German spy

Letter about C B Wedd being a German spy
BGS image ID: P842013
This letter is from W H Spaull who was a magistrate at Oswestry. He is enquiring about geologist Charles Bertie Wedd (1868-1945) who was allegedly up a tree sketching near an army camp and mistaken for a German spy and almost lynched! This letter as well as showing some of the dangers a field geologist may face also demonstrates the fear of German spies less than two months after the outbreak of World War 1.

Posters about the Geological Survey and World War I

Andrew L Morrison