Open University Geological Society (London Branch)




Day Trips

Longer Trips

S209 Students


Code of Conduct

Past Events


Please use the Registration Form to express your interest in these events and obtain more information.

London Branch organizes a series of lectures on a variety of geological themes. The guest lecturers are drawn from the ranks of professional and serious lay geologists.


Note : change of starting time to 19:00 for all lectures (doors at 18:15)

Meetings with guest speakers are held on Thursdays at 19.00 at the Parish Room of the All Saints church. Entrance via main gate - doors open at 18:15 for socialising. The nearest tube station is Oxford Circus.

Lectures carry a nominal admission of £5.00 to cover costs, payable on the evening.

Before the monthly lectures, some of the members organise to meet informally for a bite to eat in one of the eateries in the neighbourhood. If you would like to be included on the meal mailing list contact Gina Barnes, who co-ordinates the arrangements, or email info@lougs.org.uk and we will put you in touch.

After the lectures, some of us usually go on for an informal drink. All are welcome.

The nearest tube station is Oxford Circus.

All Saints Front view

All Saints - front view

All Saints Map

All Saints Map


Thursday 16 March

LECTURE: "How geology influences the water supply to a spring supported fen – insights from quarrying in the Peak District" by Alex Gallagher

Abstract: There is a long history of quarrying activity in the Peak District with numerous limestone quarries. CEMEX operates Dove Holes limestone quarry located on the western margin of the limestone outcrop. In order extract the limestone water needs to be removed from the quarry, with potential impacts on springs and streams and the habitats that depend on them. Wardell Armstrong was commissioned to carry out an assessment of the potential impacts and Monk’s Dale SSSI was identified as a site for detailed investigation.

In Monk’s Dale a number of springs support a rare fen habitat. A monitoring programme was initiated in 2006 to gather information regarding the water supply to the fen. This long-term data has been combined with geological field mapping to develop a detailed understanding of the sources of water to the fen.

This talk presents findings from 10 years of hydrogeological work: site screening, data collection, conceptual model development, expert review, targeted investigations and model improvement. You will be introduced to the geology of the area, given an overview of water management at a major quarry operation and insight to the practical tools and analysis available to the hydrogeologist.

Contact: Anna Saich


Thursday 20 April

LECTURE: “Was Palaeogene volcanism on the Isle of Skye, NW Scotland, initiated by meteorite impact?” by Simon Drake

Meteorite impacts are nearly instantaneous extreme pressure events, which produce distinctive shock damage in Earth’s crustal rocks. The talk will show with field, mineralogical, textural, and absolute dating evidence that between 61.54 ± 0.42 Ma (Ar-Ar) and 58.7 ± 0.9 Ma (U-Th/He) a meteorite strike formed impact deposits on what is now the Isle of Skye, NW Scotland. This is the first reported impact event from the British Paleogene Igneous Province (BPIP).

We detail two sites on Skye that contain meteorite derived rare minerals.

One of the sites is just below the oldest basalts on Skye which represent the earliest volcanic outpourings. The mineralogy within the impact deposits includes vanadium-rich osbornite ((Ti,V)N), reidite (ZrSiO4), baddeleyite (ZrO2), and barringerite ((Fe,Ni)2P). Only one occurrence of vanadium-rich osbornite has previously been reported and it was from a non-terrestrial environment. Extra-terrestrial derivation of the mineralogy is strongly supported by the presence of reidite (a high pressure zircon polymorph), which forms at pressures >30 GPa and is only found naturally in impact-damaged rocks. The Skye deposits therefore provoke important questions regarding their lateral extent at the base of the BPIP and the possibility of their presence elsewhere beneath the much larger North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP).

Contact: Anna Saich


Thursday 18 May

LECTURE: "The Geology of Essex" by Gerald Lucy

Compared to most other parts of Britain the surface rocks of Essex are very young in geological terms and some geologists have been dismissive of this, describing Essex geology as just ‘gardening’! These young rocks are dominated by clays, sands and gravels laid down by the Thames and by ice sheets over hundreds of thousands of years, and far from being of little interest, these deposits have been extremely important in building a picture of Britain’s Ice Age climate and fauna. Even the bedrock geology of mainly London Clay has yielded numerous fossils to generations of collectors.

Gerald Lucy will try to tell the story of Essex geology from the Palaeozoic rocks deep below the surface (responsible for Britain’s most damaging Earthquake!) right up to the last glaciation, with a few anecdotes along the way.

Contact: Anna Saich


Thursday 22 June

LECTURE: "Geological Mapping" by John Henry

Details to follow.

Contact: Anna Saich


Thursday 7 September

LECTURE: "Earthquakes" by Rebecca Bell

Details to follow.

Contact: Anna Saich


Thursday 19 October

LECTURE: "Tsunamis" by Dave Tuppin

Contact: Anna Saich


Thursday 16 November

LECTURE: Members' Evening

Members Evening is an opportunity to hear from our branch members. We usually have three or four 15 minute talks about projects, holidays, or anything with geological interest. Come along to hear what our members have been up to, or if you or a friend have been doing something interesting, we would love to hear from you.

Contact: Anna Saich


Thursday 7 December

LECTURE: Volcanism and Extinction of Permian in South West China by Paul Wignall

Details to follow.

Contact: Anna Saich


Please use the Registration Form to express your interest in these events and obtain more information.