About fossiliam

Can sometimes be found Twittering as @fossiliam

Intro To Gcl Maps 8

Time, and other geological maps

Geological time spiral (from Wikimedia Commons)

Week 8 lecture notes (pdf): 2014_IntroGclMaps_8

An aeromagnetic anomaly map of the Humber-Trent region (from the BGS).

The World digital magnetic anomaly map, or WDMAM project.

A gravity anomaly map of the Humber-Trent region (from the BGS).

Overview of gravity anomaly maps and the shape of the Earth (from NASA).

Gravity map traces ocean circulation (BBC News story). For more information on the GOCE research, visit the project website. There is even an online brochure giving ‘New Views Of Dynamic Earth’.

The G-BASE project, providing geochemical maps of Great Britain (from the BGS).

Geochemical maps of the Irish borders (from the Tellus project).

A hydrogeological map of southern Yorkshire, including York (from the BGS).

A geological map of the asteroid Vesta (from the Wired Map Lab).

Intro To Gcl Maps 6

Igneous rocks


Lecture notes for week 6 (pdf) – 2014_IntroGclMaps_6

Igneous rocks

Igneous rocks – a picture guide from Geology.com

Igneous rocks in Britain – a simple map from the Geological Society of London.

Ordovician igneous rocks in Britain – a locality map from the GCR.

Maps of intrusive igneous structures – a guide from TU Delft.

The evolution of geological mapping

Macculloch’s magnificent map – an article from New Scientist.

Lapworth’s map worth – historic geological maps from the Lapworth Museum of Geology.

Archibald Geikie’s 1876 geological map of Scotland – from the University of Leeds.

The Assynt Culmination – from the BGS.

Solid & Drift

The 2010 paper on mapping the Vale of York bedrock and superficial geology can be downloaded here.

Geological time

International Chronostratigraphic Chart (2014) – official geological time scale.

Intro To Gcl Maps 5


Siccar Point unconformity (photo by Anne Burgess, Wikimedia Commons)

Week 5 Lecture slides (pdf) – 2014_IntroGclMaps_5

Lecture notes on unconformities (doc) – Unconformities

The Making of Siccar Point – excellent blogpost by Highly Allochthonous about this famous unconformity.

University of Leeds Introduction to Structural Geology – Geological Maps workbook.

Digital technology and the future of geological fieldwork – paper from the Journal of the Geological Society of London.

Intro To Gcl Maps 4

An Introduction To Geological Maps – Week 4

Lecture notes (pdf) – 2014_IntroGclMaps_4

Faults, Earthquakes and Landscape – a guide from the Geology Cafe website.

Teaching Resources in Structural Geology – courtesy of the University of Leeds.

The Rock Cycle: Faults – web resource from the Geological Society of London.

Geologizing With Darwin – a Scientific American blogpost about Charles Darwin’s training in geological mapping.

Llanymynech Rocks! – my blogpost about Darwin and the geology of the Anglo-Welsh border.

Intro To Gcl Maps 2

An Introduction To Geological Maps – Week 2

Lecture notes (pdf) for Class 2 – 2014_IntroGclMaps_2.

BGS Maps Portal – maps and sections 1832 to 2014.

BGS Map Symbols and Ornaments – the full guide.

October 17th 2014 was ‘Geologic Map Day‘ – Earth Science Week here providing lots of resources.

Highly Allochthonous blogpost on the mapping of folded rocks.

100 Great Geosites – Geological Society of London competition to find the best geological localities in the UK.

BBC News – Why do people love Ordnance Survey maps?


Intro To Gcl Maps 1

An Introduction To Geological Maps – Week 1

William Smith’s 1815 geological map of England and Wales (and a little bit of Scotland).

Lecture notes (PDF) – 2014_IntroGclMaps_1

Lecture notes (PowerPoint) – 2014_IntroGclMaps_1

iGeology – the BGS Smartphone app that puts geological maps in your pocket.

Geology of Britain viewer – another cool tool from the BGS.

Wired’s Map Lab – a plethora of articles about scientific mapping.

Geological Mapwork – geological mapping exercises from Earth Learning Idea.

An Introduction to Geology: 2014

Week 9. Fossils.

How to tell bone from stone: Smithsonian magazine article by Brian Switek.

The Fossil Record of Cricket (an article I wrote for ESPN Cricinfo). I later wrote another on the evolution of fast throwing.


Weeks 6. & 7. TECTONICS

The day the Earth moved – very interesting article in Cosmos magazine describing the revolutionary times of 1963, when tectonic theory came to the fore.

The Moho (or, more properly, the Mohorovičić Discontinuity) is the boundary between the crust and the mantle. It is not the same as the boundary between the lithosphere and aesthenosphere, because the lithosphere includes the solid upper mantle.

Much of the lower mantle is thought to be composed of a (newly named) mineral called bridgmanite.

There is also new evidence, including a recently discovered terrestrial sample of a mineral called ringwoodite, that the lower mantle (410 to 660 km below the surface) has considerable volumes of water trapped in it.

Both bridgmanite and ringwoodite are varieties of olivine, as explained in this helpful article.



Faunal correlation (from Wikimedia Commons)

Here are a few 2014 additions to all the existing ‘IntroGeol’ files already on the site, as follows:

Lecture notes for Class 5 “A Bit More Time”

2014_IntroGeol_Lect5 (PowerPoint)

The Rock Cycle

An excellent, rather more detailed version of the rock cycle, illustrating the subdivisions of the different sections, can be seen on the Geology Cafe website here.


The 2014 edition of the geological time scale, produced by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) can be downloaded here.

If you want details of where in the world any of the Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points (GSSPs) are, Wikipedia provides a pretty comprehensive list here. It is based on the International Commission on Stratigraphy’s list, which can be found here.

For more information on clay minerals, also known as sheet silicates, also known as phyllosilicates (literally ‘leaf silicates’, deriving from the same Greek origin as ‘filo’ pastry), these course notes by Prof. Stephen Nelson of Tulane University are very helpful.

An excellent Conversation article on why the discovery of clay minerals on Mars is rather important.

Powered By Rock – Week 8


Flower power (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Lecture notes – 2014_PoweredbyRock_lect8_summary_SML (PowerPoint)

An Excel spreadsheet showing the full list of UK power stations (location, type, capacity) from the DUKES website.

Energy predictability

Every year, the International Energy Agency gives an overview of the World Energy Outlook. The 2013 edition can be found here.

However, according to Energy Post, the IEA World Energy Outlook consistently underestimates wind/solar growth.

Energy challenges

How do we make gas supply networks more resilient? This study argues that we need a fair distribution strategy.

Should we build more large dams? This study by Oxford University investigates the real costs of mega-hydropower.

Back to coal? German efforts to go green prove complex (New York Times article).

Environmental impacts

A paper by Evans et al. (2009), comparing the sustainability of different forms of renewable energy: Evans_etal2009_sustainability_renewable_energy.

A paper by Pacca & Horvath (2002) looking at the whole-life greenhouse gas emissions of different types of power station: Pacca_Horvath2002_GHG_Colorado_power_plants

A paper by Pihl et al. (2012) comparing the raw materials required to construct different types of Concentrated Solar Power station: Pihl_etal2012_ConcSolarPower_materials

The new Ivanpah CSP scheme is a “$2.2bn solar-powered bird-scorching project” (according to the Wall Street Journal).

Apparently, mammals such as reindeer avoid power lines because they see them in UV.

The Future

What do you think Britain’s power usage and sources should be in 2050? Try the DECC 2050 Pathways calculator to test your ideas!