Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Week 4 in Scotland – underwater geology!

Last week was the final week in the field. Tim Kearsey, Mike Browne and I continued our work in the Scottish Borders coastal site. We had two aims, to complete the sedimentary logging, and to finish collecting samples.

We finished the sedimentary log through the top of the Ballagan Formation, and have recorded 476 metres of rock in total. We also finished sampling and we now have 425 samples of a huge variety of sedimentary rock types, many of which contain fossils. That will keep us busy over the winter!

It really was a battle with the tides and the cold weather to complete this work before the winter closed in. As most of the upper part was only exposed at low tide, this included sampling from below the water when necessary…very cold!

Top: Tim collecting a sample from a rock pool. Bottom: Me holding up the last sample, fieldwork finished!

Our reward for putting up with the cold weather was finding lots of amazing sedimentary rocks and discovering new fossil rich beds. On the second to last day I found an ostracod-rich bed, which was very exciting. Tim Kearsey discovered some fantastic large plant fossils in some of the muddy sediments and Mike Browne found some wonderful desiccation cracks - cracks in mud formed when it dried in the sun…. in the Carboniferous! 

Happy days, some of the group by the holiday cottage in week 3, from left to right: me, Ket Smithson, Tim Smithson, Sarah Davies, Sarah Finney and Rob Clack.

In the next blog I will share some photos of the wonderful rocks and fossils that we have collected.
Until next time

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