Day Excursions 2020

We have a varied set of excursions for this summer and hope that you will find something that interests you. Booking instructions can be found in the February newsletter (newsletter 162/3). Please email the day excursion secretary at daytrips@gsocg.org for an electronic version of the application form and the address to which the completed form and cheque should be sent. As usual, the number of places available on the excursions is limited by the size of the bus, so please return your booking form as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Saturday 6th June. Onich Shore

Leaders: Dr Iain Allison & Jim Blair

Onich Shore is a classic east-west cross-section through folded Dalradian metasediments, part of the Appin Syncline, including Appin Phyllite, Limestone and Quartzite, and with Ballachulish Slates, plus some minor basic dykes and intrusive bodies. With easy parking and access at the petrol station in North Ballachulish, it is claimed to be the most visited section of the Grampian Terrane. The shore is mainly of shingle, with some short rocky sections hence walking boots or wellies are recommended. The Dubh Ghlac (Onich Dry Gorge) lies a further 1,000 metres to the west of the section and a series of other localities are scattered around Loch Leven to the east (some of these localities are of quick and easy access, others less so).

A key reference is “The Dalradian rocks of the central Grampian Highlands of Scotland”,
J.E. Treagus, P.W. Tanner, P.R. Thomas, R.A. Scott and D. Stephenson, P.G.A., 124, 2013 (page 167).

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 19:30, travelling by coach

Saturday 13th June. Great Cumbrae

Leader: Dr Con Gillen

A great opportunity to view the wonderfully varied geology of this small island. Full details of the excursion are available on the Earthwise website.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 18:00, travelling by coach

Saturday 27th June. Queensferry

Leader: Richard Smith

Joint excursion with the Edinburgh Geological Society

The excursion starts on the promenade to set the scene and view the 3 bridges now spanning the Firth of Forth. Then we examine the accessible exposures along the shore to the east of South Queensferry which include the Lower Carboniferous West Lothian Oil-Shale Formation dipping generally westwards above the older Gullane Formation (both Strathclyde Group). The West Lothian oil-shales comprise cycles of thin marine or freshwater limestones followed by lagoonal oil-shales then mudstones, siltstones and sandstones where deltaic systems fed into a wide lagoon (Lake Cadell) which existed in this area about 335 Ma, open to the north-east but bounded to the south-east by the Southern Uplands. To the east the Gullane Formation, comprising sandstone and mudstone but generally lacking oil-shale, was intruded during Upper Carboniferous times by two prominent sills, the Mons Hill teschenitic sill and the Hound Point quartz-dolerite sill. These rocks were folded and faulted during the subsequent Variscan Orogeny. The surface bedrock has gradually been eroded by the elements, including within the last two million years, the Pleistocene glaciations. Subsequent late glacial and postglacial deposits cover much of the bedrock away from the shoreline.

Following the excursion, we will have afternoon tea with our EGS colleagues.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 19:00, travelling by coach

The numbers on this joint excursion are limited to 15 from each society. Therefore early booking is advisable if you wish to make sure of a place.

Saturday 11th July. Hessilhead

Leader: Gary Hoare

An excursion to see the fossils and rocks of the Lower Limestone Group of Ayrshire.This quarry is disused and the main quarry is now flooded, but a good spot to see some of the geological features of the Lower Limestone Group. And an excellent opportunity to look through the waste rock tips for fossils. Very little walking required and easy parking. The site is also abundant in wildlife and plants.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 17:00, travelling by coach

Saturday 1st August. Charlestown Lime Centre

Leaders: Dr Katie Strang & Gary Hoare

The excursion will start with a one-hour presentation on the history of the lime industry in Charlestown and the geology and palaeontology of the Blackhall Limestone, and a chance to look at a collection of fossils which have been found locally. We will then look at outcrops of the Blackhall limestone and disused quarries. The quarries on the Elgin Estate are no longer operational, but provide an excellent opportunity to look at outcrops of the Early Carboniferous Visean Limestone. There will also be a chance to look for fossils in some of the old spoil heaps. The walk is about 10 minutes from the Charlestown Workshops and is mostly flat, although can become quite waterlogged – wellies or walking boots advised!

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 18:00, travelling by coach

Thursday 20th August. The Hunterian Collection at Kelvin Hall

Leaders: Dr Neil Clark & Dr John Faithfull

Every year we try to organise an excursion that does not involve climbing over fences and is therefore suitable for all members. This year we are privileged to get a chance to see part of the Hunterian Collection that is not usually on public display in the company of Dr John Faithfull (Curator of Mineralogy/Petrology) and Dr Neil Clark (Curator of Palaeontology).

Meet at the Kelvin Hall reception at 14:00.

Saturday 12th September. Arthur’s Seat

Leader: Dr Colin MacFadyen

Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags, as part of the Royal Park of Holyrood, provide a rugged and spectacular backdrop to Scotland’s capital, offering one of the best views of the city. Visible for miles around, and offering views over the Lothians and across the Forth to Fife and beyond, Arthur’s Seat is a classic site of international significance and is one of the gems of Scottish geology.

Representing the eroded remains of a 340 million-year old volcano, Arthur’s Seat is one of the best examples of its kind anywhere and offers the opportunity to experience lava flows, ashes, volcanic bombs, intrusions, and agglomerate-filled craters. The rocky crags and slopes of the park also provide evidence of the environment into which the volcano erupted, how it would have appeared in that environment and the geological events that took place following cessation of eruptive activity.

The excursion will include a locality at Salisbury Crags in the heart of Holyrood Park that has an important and special place in the history of geology, for it was here in the late 18th century that James Hutton found evidence to support his theories that have become pivotal in understanding the Earth.

Leaving Gregory Building at 9:00, returning at 18:00, travelling by coach