Posted by: paulgarner | March 9, 2010

Permian perambulations

Cross bedded Permian sandstones, Dawlish, Devon

On Friday I arrived home after a week-long field trip around the UK with John Whitmore who was visiting from the States. We had a great time, and the weather was very kind to us – we had dry and mostly sunny conditions the whole week. We clocked up almost 1500 miles, and managed to collect Permian sandstone samples for the FAST (Flood-Activated Sedimentation and Tectonics) project near Dawlish, Kinver, Penrith, Durham and Doncaster. Our thin section studies of the Coconino Sandstone of northern and central Arizona and its correlates in neighbouring states are throwing up some very interesting data – see here and here – and so I’m looking forward to seeing how these equivalent units in the UK will turn out. For the background to our Coconino project see here, here and here. We also hiked out into the Loughor River in South Wales to see the intertidal bedforms (ripples, megaripples and sand waves) in the estuary mouth. We accomplished all that we planned to do, and more besides, so that’s great.

Hutton's unconformity at Siccar Point, Berwickshire

Also, during the field trip we had the opportunity to visit Siccar Point, a classic outcrop of the angular unconformity between Silurian greywackes and shales and the overlying Old Red Sandstone famously visited by Hutton, Playfair and Hall in 1788. Bearing in mind the bad weather we’ve been experiencing recently, it was magnificent to have clear blue skies virtually all day. While we were in Scotland, John was even brave enough to try haggis for breakfast – although he passed on the black pudding! Then it was back down the A1 so that John could catch his flight home from Heathrow. All in all, a wonderful week.

Incidentally, submissions for this year’s creation biology and geology conference are due on 2 April, so get working on those abstracts! And why not make a date to be at the conference from 28-30 July at Truett-McConnell College, Cleveland, Georgia. You won’t want to miss it.

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