Change of Event Date

Railway Footpaths and Old Mining Areas in West Cumbria

This event is now taking place on Sunday 13th August, one week earlier than originally advertised.

Starts: 10:30

Location: A5086 road at Parkside

Leaders David Powell and Mervyn Dodd. Meet at NY 034154 on A5086 at Parkside at 10.30. Up to c.8 km walking on old railway line paths.

Event Report: Fold Analysis Gawthwaite Moor Saturday 10th June

Fold Analysis Gawthwaite Moor Saturday 10th June

Sixteen Members gathered at the Greyhound Inn, Grizebeck where our leader, Clive Boulter described procedures for measuring dip and strike.   In appalling weather the party then set off for Gawthwaite Moor and after traversing some very boggy ground successfully took dip and strike and location measurements in three different areas.   The wind and rain continued relentlessly so the party returned to the Greyhound Inn where Clive described how to plot the data onto stereographic projections, and carry out an interpretation, which every member succeeded in doing.   The original intention had been to take very many more measurements to make a statistically viable recording that could be published in the Proceedings.  The weather prevented this but everyone present had thoroughly enjoyed the day and a request was made that another day be arranged to complete the work.  SB

Keswick Museum – Life of a Mountain: Blencathra

Keswick Museum have a new exhibition exploring the landscape, people and history of ‘The People’s Mountain’. This includes exhibits relating to:

  • How the mountain was made and mined;
  • Life in the villages of Threlkeld and Mungrisdale through the centuries and the story of the Sanatorium;
  • Farming the land and the Blencathra Hunt;
  • Village and mountain sports;
  • … and a chance to contribute to the exhibition, choosing your favourite root up the iconic fell and telling them what Blencathra means to you.

The Cumberland Geological Society has been involved with selecting and displaying some of the museum’s rock, mineral and fossil specimens and mine related information along with the production of a north-south geological cross section through Blencathra.

For further information please follow the following link;

Event Report: Carrock Fell Igneous Complex- Revisited 14 May 2017

Carrock Fell Igneous Complex- Revisited 14 May 2017

Led by Alan Wise

On a bright clear morning 8 members set off from Mosedale to consider the Carrock Fell Complex by traversing the eastern side.

The leader had first mapped Carrock Fell as part of his thesis in the mid ‘70s. As well as distributing some written notes and diagrams, he set the scene by showing us his hand drawn map of the area and explaining that the Carrock Fell Igneous complex is made up of 12 different rock types between the Skiddaw slates to the South and the Eycott volcanics to the North, this includes 5 different bands of gabbro. He noted that there were xenoliths of Skiddaw slates and of Eycott volcanics in the gabbros.

The area was last surveyed by the BGS in 1928/32 and published in 1968, when it was interpreted as differentiation in situ. However, understanding and interpretation of gabbros had advanced over the last 80 years.

The party set off up Carrock Fell broadly along the contact of the Skiddaw slates and the gabbro and paused to examine a contact. It was noted that the slates were hard but no metamorphic aureole associated with Carrock Fell was observed. The leader suggested that the magma had been injected in a series of pulses as a composite sill, with cooling between each pulse, then turned so it was now almost vertical. He noted that there was evidence of chilled margins in the gabbros so that ruled out magma differentiation.

He demonstrated that the magnetite and ilmenite in the gabbros meant that compass readings were unreliable, a real problem in the 1970’s.

At the next exposed junctions of the slates and gabbros we observed some folding in the slates and looked in vain for definitive evidence that the Skiddaw slates had been overturned.

Noticing the change of slope we moved up and away from the slate and onto the gabbro. The Marginal gabbro was initially fine grained, then as we moved north, courser grained with bigger crystals and some pods of crystals.

Then we came to a fine grained andesite outcrop of some 100 meters and examined the contact at the north end with the gabbro. No evidence was known of mixing between the andesite and the gabbros. The wide andesite exposure was interpreted as the roof of the Eycott lavas which had collapsed into the gabbros.

Continuing the traverse of the slope in a northerly direction we examined an outcrop of Leucogabbro which had a fabric and crystal sedimentation then an outcrop of the Buck Kirk gabbro which had no fabric and was darker and finer grained, so was postulated as being intruded at a lower temperature as a crystal mush. An andesite dyke some 4 meters wide had been intruded later. Further exposures of light and dark bands and pegmatites were considered before crossing Further Gill Syke.

North of Further Gill Syke we moved from the gabbro through 6 types of granophyre. These were interpreted as later pulses from the same magma source as the gabbros, which had become more granitic.

We then descended to the road, avoiding the steeper parts of Further Gill Syke. As we walked to the cars the leader pointed out white cumulates with a black base dipping 60 degrees to the North in the cliff.

The leader summarised his interpretation as Marginal gabbro was intruded between the Skiddaw Slates and the Eycott volcanics. The junction was dipping at about 35 degrees to the north. Four further pulses of gabbro were intruded along contraction joints. Three of these magmas were at a higher temperature so allowed for crystal sedimentation under gravity forming layers of cumulate with a preferred orientation. The Buck Kirk gabbro was intruded as a crustal mush at a lower temperature. Granophyre and Diabase were intruded along the northern margin of the complex. Skiddaw granite was intruded to the South of the Complex and rotates the complex to the North by some 60 degrees.

Although the ground was rough and steep the party benefitted that the day was dry and bright, the bracken had not yet shot up, the leader had brought his brushes to clean the various exposures and provided fresh specimens to examine.

When the party reached the car park they thanked Alan Wise for sharing his research and knowledge and for a very interesting and challenging day and encouraged him to write up his interpretation in the proceedings.

Event Report: Geology and International Development Interdisciplinary Work Across 3 Continents

22nd February 2017

Dr Joel Gill, Project Development Scientist with the British Geological Survey and Founder and Director of Geology for Global Development.

He has a background in engineering and geology and worked in Tanzania, India and Guatemala, advising on water resources, geology and geo-education.

His talk was based on the GfGD principles of trying to ‘mobilise and equip the geological community to prevent and relieve poverty, in all its forms everywhere’. This was illustrated by reference to 3 UN initiatives. (See for more details).

The international framework for tackling this global challenge crystallised in 2015 with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:- a set of 17 goals with 169 targets, aiming to eradicate poverty and unsustainable consumption, facilitate growth and social development, etc.within a 15 year time frame.

Here, Geological Sciences with their knowledge of Earth Materials, Resources and Management are essential to, for instance, effective clean water systems and energy supply and management ( has more detail).

There has been some progress – e.g. extreme poverty has fallen by 50%; access to an improved source of drinking water has increased from 76% in 1990 to 91% of the global population in 2015.However, in sub Saharan Africa sanitation facilities and access to clean water are still poor. An example was given in Tanzania of little improvement over 15 years to water access. 35-50% of water projects failed due to poor siting of wells, lack of understanding of the culture, and the training needed for water management.

In March 2015, at a UN world conference, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was adopted. It has 7 targets, including increasing access to Multi-Hazard Warning systems, and 4 priorities e.g., Risk Resilience (see Sendai website for more details). An example was given of Multi-Hazard Research in Guatemala and the role Geoscientists can play e.g. integrating research into the impacts of landslides, flooding and ground subsidence.

Finally, the 2015 Paris Accord on Climate Change was briefly mentioned and the role geoscientists can play researching new minerals needed for the new generation of solar panels to meet alternative/renewable energy targets.

Dr Gill concluded by referring to work with Professor Ian Stewart. This had indicated more of a need for geoscience courses to promote the ‘hard’, ‘soft’ and interdisciplinary skills needed to connect effectively with global humanitarian issues.

The meeting ended with a request for Dr Gill to identify a project to which CGS could contribute.

A paper by Dr. Gill is due to be published in Spring 2017 in the IUGS journal

Editions (link on IUGS website)

Event Reminder: Relations on the Celtic Fringe

Cumberland Geological Society Presents –
From the Winter Lecture Events Programme:

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Relations on the Celtic Fringe

Starts: 19:30

Location: Friends’ Meeting House, Kirkgate, Cockermouth, CA14 9PH

AGM & President’s talk: Relations on the Celtic Fringe

Events are open to members and non-members. This event is free for members and non-members who wish to ‘try out’ the society.