Earth Sciences Group

Group Leader: Michelle Thomas –

The group aims to meet on the third Thursday of the month, either in the afternoon for talks and workshops, or all day for field trips and visits. Please read the news item about the group created in 2021, and contact the group leader (email preferred) to register your interest.

Earth Sciences is mainly geology and geo-morphology (land structure), but covers aspects of:

Biology (eg fossils and the tree of life), Physics & Energy, Astronomy & the space programmes, Chemistry, Physical Geography, Industrial Archaeology (eg old mine works), Environmental Science & Conservation, Weather and Climate Change, Water resources, Oil & Gas resources, Mining (coal and metals), Fracking, Civil Engineering (eg the Severn Bridge), even green energy!

A large part of geological work is based on risk identification and hazard management – flooding, landslides, sink holes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes & tsunamis (tidal waves), asteroids & meteors, global warming and sea-level rise.

2023 was a quiet year for the group, but we had 1 talk on a geological holiday in Oman, and visited the Spaceguard Centre in Knighton.

Next event: TBA but likely to be a talk in April 2024

Events in the pipeline:

TBA – Visits to Cwmystwyth Mine (Cadw), Dylife Mines, the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff behind the scenes in the palaeontological stores, Llanfawr Quarries on our doorstep.

We also have talks promised by Lorna Steele, Curator of the Radnorshire Museum, Mel Walters & Tim Haines, and Bob Loveridge. If anyone would like to offer a talk, that would be great!

And if there is interest, workshops can be organised on rock and mineral identification, and possibly with Joe Botting on local fossils, including his newly discovered soft-bodied fossils. A microscope or 2 would be involved!

Latest news from the group

Talk: Nördlinger-Ries Meteorite Impact by Bob Loveridge

Published 19th May 2022

On Thursday 19 May 2022, Bob Loveridge gave us a very good talk on the Nördlinger-Ries Meteorite Impact Crater. This is to be found in Germany, in the area of western Bavaria and eastern Baden-Württemberg. It is about 24km (15 miles) in diameter, and the town of Nordlingen is situated about 6km (3.4 miles) from the crater centre.

Bob explained how the meteorite crater was formed about 14.8 million years ago, in the Miocene Age. The rock and sediments displaced by the meteorite impact formed very specific ejecta material, which is known as Suevite.

The Suevite is mainly breccia, formed from broken up rock pieces, which were fused together by heat and pressure.

Suevite was used to build some of the buildings in Nordlingen, including the 15th century St George’s Church. Bob used to take students to Nordlingen in order to study the impact formations there, and has some wonderful photos of the views from the top balcony of St George’s Church tower.

Interestingly NASA sent Apollo 14 astronauts for training to Nordlingen in 1970, to learn about the metamorphosed lithology there, so that they could recognise similar structures on the Moon.

Talk – Fossils of the Araripe Basin, Brazil – Repeated

Published 20th January 2022

Bob Loveridge kindly agreed to repeat his talk given to us on 18th December, as a few people missed it, and we did not complete our examination of the fossils. So on 20th January 2022 at the Radnorshire Museum, we listened to the talk, and had a marvelous time looking at and handling the fossils. Bob also showed us how to prepare the fossils by scraping them under a microscope. We were all amazed to see how the plants and animals are so close in appearance to their present-day counterparts, BUT are approximately 110 million years old!

Many thanks to Bob for his fascinating talk and guidance.

See below for Bob’s short report of his talk:-

Click here to view the report

Talk – Fossils from the Araripe Basin, Brazil

Published 18th November 2021

Bob Loveridge (Portsmouth University) will be giving us a talk on the temporary fossil display at the Radnorshire Museum. These are Cretaceous fish fossils, and Bob is their official keeper. They are due to be be removed from the Museum after our talk.

The talk will be on Thursday 16th December 2021 in the Radnorshire Museum.

Space will be limited, due to social distancing.

Cost: £2 ppn donation to the Museum and £1 subs.

We are having lunch in Spencer’s Brasserie in the Metropole Hotel afterwards. This needs to be pre-booked via Michelle please.

If you would like to join us, and/or want to know more, please contact Michelle Thomas, email or phone 7919 893 644.