Day Excursions 2022

After a covid-enforced break of two years, we have organised a varied set of excursions for this summer and hope that you will find something that interests you. Please email the day excursion secretary at for an electronic version of the application form and the address to which the completed form and cheque should be sent.

All excursions except the one to Queensferry leave by coach from the Molema Building, Glasgow University, Lilybank Gardens. Please check the synopses for details of the departure times.

Please note that a deposit is required for each excursion. The deposit is set at a level to recover the anticipated costs of the trip.

The Queensferry excursion will conclude with high tea with our fellow enthusiasts from the Edinburgh Geological Society which you will be expected to attend. Only 10 places are available for GSG members.

The Onich Shore and Elie-St Monans-Pittenweem excursions will be followed a bar meal or similar; so you should expect to return to Glasgow around 8 pm rather than the usual 6 pm.

For the other excursions, members who choose to take their own vehicles will be still be asked to pay the full deposit as a contribution towards the overall cost of the excursion to the society.

Participants will be supplied with a risk assessment form prior to the excursion date, and will be expected to comply with any suggested safety measures.

Saturday 11th June. Charlestown Lime Quarry

Leader: Dr Katie Strang

We will be examining 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 Lime Centre and is mostly flat, although can become quite waterlogged – wellies or walking boots advised! Time permitting, we will also go and look at the magnificent old lime kilns on the foreshore.

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

Saturday 2nd July. East Kirkton & Petershill Quarries

Leader: Gary Hoare

East Kirkton is an unusual deposit because it favoured the fossilisation of land animals rather than those that lived in the water. It has been the scene of some of the most exciting discoveries in Scottish paleontology which Gary will tell us about.

Petershill Limestone was originally quarried for lime in the 18th century until the quarries were converted to reservoirs in the 19th century, before finally being drained in the 1980s. The site is an SSSI for its species-rich grassland, scrub and wetland, as well as for the geology. The limestone contains a rich fauna including the colonial coral Siphonodendron and the large brachiopod Gigantoproductus.

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

Saturday 16th July. South Queensferry

Leader: Dr 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 high tea with our EGS colleagues.

Meet at 10:30 at Hawes Pier, South Queensferry; NT 135783. Parking is available by the promenade to the west.

The numbers on this joint excursion are limited to 10 from each society. Therefore early booking is advisable if you wish to make sure of a place.

Saturday 13th August. 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, Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 124, 2013 (page 167).

Leaving Molema Building at 9:00, returning at 20:00, travelling by coach; stopping for a bar snack on the way home

Saturday 20th August. Elie-St Monans-Pittenweem

Leader: Dr Brian Bell

This excursion will involve the examination of Carboniferous fluvial, deltaic and shallow marine strata pierced by Carboniferous vents (diatremes) and the interplay between volcanism and sedimentation.

Usual field gear: good boots, waterproofs and a walking pole.

Leaving Molema Building at 9:00, returning at 20:00, travelling by coach; stopping for a bar snack on the way home