Day Excursions 2023

The 2023 day excursions are now finished. The programme is shown below to give you an idea of the types of excursion that the society organises. The 2024 programme will be posted when it is drawn up.

Saturday 27 May. Seamill to Portencross

Leader: Austen Brown

An excursion to view the upper and lower Old Red Sandstone (Devonian), faults, dykes, a felsite sill and associated structures. There will be an opportunity to tour Portencross Castle, and view Clyde Plateau Lavas from Goldenberry Hill. We will also be able to view a large number of glacial erratics and beach pebbles and will examine some “modern” post glacial landscape features.

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

Saturday 17 June. Kilbirnie Quarry: fossil collecting and more

Leader: Gary Hoare

On the first part of the trip we will examine the lower limestones at an exposure close to the Paduff Burn. We will see mudstones overlying the Top Hosie Limestone with a marine fauna of brachiopods, bivalves and crinoids. There will be a chance to collect fossils from a spoil heap of waste material. As this is a new exposure a record of any fossils found will be undertaken. There will also be a chance to visit a hydroelectric station located beside the burn and Austen Brown will take us through its workings.

The afternoon will be spent following a track through the Kilbirnie hills to look at the Clyde Plateau Volcanic Formation with flows of basalt and beds of purple nodular tuff with intercalated fine-grained red marls.

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

Saturday 8 July. Wanlockhead Museum of Lead Mining / gold panning

Leader: Dr Neil Clark

A visit to the Museum of Lead Mining with a tour underground to the eighteenth century Lochnell Mine. Find out how miners lived over the centuries and learn how to pan for gold in the classic medieval site of the source of some of the gold in the Scottish Crown Jewels. We are also going out to pan for gold in the local streams; so if you are interested you should bring a bucket and spade and your wellies! Minerals can also be found in the nearby spoil heaps. Lunch in the museum is included in the price.

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

Saturday 26 August. Ballantrae Complex

Leader: Dr Con Gillen

The excursion will cover some important aspects of the early Ordovician Ballantrae Ophiolite Complex (pillow lavas, gabbro, serpentinite, chert and melange), late Ordovician and early Silurian greywacke and conglomerate; late Ordovician reef limestone and Caledonian folding. Walking will be along the shore, sometimes rocky and potentially slippery. We will attempt to get to Downan Point for the famous pillow lavas (though this is not strictly part of the Ballantrae Complex).

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

Saturday 22 July. Glencoe and Ballachulish

Leader: Dr Simon Cuthbert

Set in the spectacular mountain scenery around Glencoe and Ballachulish are some beautifully exposed igneous complexes that allow us to explore the “plumbing” of volcanoes and magma chambers that were active during a huge “flare-up” in the final stage of the closure of the Iapetus Ocean. In this one-day trip we explore the great volcanic caldera of Glencoe in panoramic views and exposures in the glen, then take a 5 km moderately strenuous walk on forest trails above Glenachulish to see how a granitic pluton was constructed. Good boots and waterproofs and a packed lunch needed.

Leaving Molema Building at 8:00, returning at 20:00, travelling by coach; stopping at Tyndrum for a bar snack on the way home.

Saturday 2 September. Balmaha

Leader: Dr Iain Allison

Joint excursion with the Edinburgh Geological Society

The objectives of this excursion are to examine the rocks around the Highland Boundary Fault, which separates the Palaeozoic rocks of the Midland Valley from the late Proterozoic rocks of the Grampian Highlands and cuts across mainland Scotland from Helensburgh to Stonehaven, and to gain some understanding of why there has been considerable controversy over the geological history of this zone.

The units we will examine are:
Devonian: Upper Old Red Sandstone, Lower Old Red Sandstone;
Ordovician: Highland Border Complex, Arrochymore Sandstone, black shale, limestone with serpentinite pebbles, serpentinite;
Proterozoic: Dalradian (Southern Highland Group).

Following the excursion, we will have a bar meal with our EGS colleagues.

Leaving Molema 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.

Wednesday 13 September. Linn Park and Rouken Glen

Leader: Dr Simon Cuthbert

A chance to see some interesting geology on our doorstep. Simon will show you a lot of interesting geology in his local parks: Linn Park in the morning, a spot of lunch then Rouken Glen in the afternoon. There will be no charge for this excursion.

Meet at the main entrance to Linn Park at 10:00.