Open University Geological Society (London Branch)


Local Geology

Geotrails and Building Stones

Geology on the Underground

The Geological interpretation of our branch is continuously evolving, and so far-reaching that this section of the website may never be properly complete. It should, however, provide a reasonable understanding of our Geology for those new to the subject. If you have any comments or corrections, please email info@lougs.org.uk and we will take another look at what we have put up. Of course, if you would like to put together a few paragraphs, or more, on some feature of local Geology not included here, we would be delighted to hear from you.

The London Branch of the OUGS encompasses Greater London, Middlesex, Surrey and West Sussex. The Geology of this area in its simplest form comprises a stack of marine to shallow marine and onshore sediments, with some considerable time-gaps. Folding of these sediments began early in the Alpine Orogeny though is ongoing to a degree. The topography of the area is dominated by the London Basin to the North (a syncline), and the Weald to the South (an anticline).

There has been subsequent erosion and redeposition, and rivers have also played a role in the Geology of the area. During the Quaternary Ice Ages the Anglian Ice sheet reached as far as north London, substantially modifying the landscape. Periglacial conditions South of the Thames and over the whole area during subsequent glacial advances have also played a significant role.

The map below shows the area of our branch with bedrock and superficial deposits marked. It should perhaps be noted, that after centuries of land-use, most of the built-up areas should fall under a further category, that of Made Land.



More information will eventually appear in this section. Until then, there is a lot of local interest in our Archive.