Manchester Geological Association

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Newsletter - September 2009

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Well, I hope that you all enjoyed your BBQ summer! We certainly had some good outings despite the rain, which played a part in our Styal Day but didnít dampen the enthusiasm of participants.

Before we start on Jimís mouth-watering programme of lectures, we have one more field trip to enjoy. On Saturday, 10th October, Norma Rothwell is guiding us round the Building Stones of Manchester University Campus. This a Low-Mobility trip and a joint trip with the North West OUGS. There is Blue Badge free parking in the Quadrangle.

We really get going on our indoor activities with a Conversazione, to which we have invited students from SEAES, and a lecture on Wednesday 14th October. So come along at 6.00 pm and catch up with the summerís gossip over a glass of something and then enjoy John Nudds' lecture on Feathered Dinosaurs at 7.00 pm.

After that we have Spiders on 28th October and a Darwin Day of 5 lectures in November, with Volcanoes to follow in December. If you are coming to the Darwin Day please let Jim Spencer know. There is no charge but space is limited. There are five lectures that day with a break of two hours for lunch (bring your own or go to a cafť).

Quite a few people have expressed an interest in going to Newfoundland next year, so Jane will go ahead and make enquiries about accommodation and travel.

With best wishes to all

Mary Howie, MGA Newsletter Editor

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Mobility Problems?

Can't get to our meetings?

I have become aware that we have a small number of long standing older members who, for health or mobility reasons, are now less able to travel to our meetings or field trips. They continue to enjoy their membership through reading newsletters and the website, but occasionally feel that they would like to go to a meeting on a particular topic of interest, or just to meet acquaintances. If there is sufficient interest, Council is prepared to look at ways in which some sort of help may be provided to assist those members who are in this position to get to these events.

If you are interested in Council developing this kind of assistance please contact Jane Michael on 0161 366 0595 or at, telling her what kind of help would be most useful to you - maybe youíd welcome a lift to a particular event.

Fred Owen, Membership Secretary

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Greater Manchester RIGS Group

At the July meeting of the North West Geological Partnership, held at Natural Englandís office in Manchester, it was agreed to provide funds for the restoration of the Rochdale Cemetery Geological Trail.

Additional research is being carried out into the provenance of the specimens used in the trail.

The projected survey of Healey Dell is in progress as is the assessment of a number of other sites.

Marjorie E. Mosley, Secretary, Greater Manchester RIGS Group

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Field trip to Rochdale Cemetery - August 2009

Jane Michael has written a report about the field trip to Rochdale Cemetery

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Field trip to Frodsham - June 2009

On a clear morning in June, seven of us gathered on Overton Hill for a field trip led by Duncan Woodcock. The sandstone escarpment is clearly visible from the M56, and so it was interesting to get up close. During the nineteenth century the sandstones were quarried extensively for building stone and together with the natural outcrops we have the opportunity today to inspect the rock faces and see what conclusions we can draw regarding the environment of deposition.

The first location displayed rounded grains and cross bedding which indicate that the sand had been deposited in a shallow river channel. The red colout is due to a thin coating of haematite. Further along the path, mud flakes were found in coarser grained sandstone. Perhaps these were deposited by flash floods.

The Cheshire Basin sandstones were deposited in the Triassic period, 248 to 213 Ma, when Britain lay at about 15 degrees north of the equator. A large river system carried sediments and these form the basis of the sandstones we see today.

Finally we drove down to Frodsham station and inspected the dune bedded sandstone there, which had many bee holes in it.

Duncan's interpretation of the rocks was helpful and sometimes thought provoking. A good morning out was had by all.

Marjorie Mosley

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Styal Desert?

Our Geological Fun Day in July at Styal Mill was a great success, despite the rain! The two Freds put up the banner and then led parties around the superb exposures in the Secret Garden and the Geology Trail.

The exhibition of rocks and the children's activities were visited and enjoyed by many members of the public.

Many thanks to all who helped and attended! We hope to repeat the event in the future.

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