27 March 2017

Student beach trip

For the Earth, Climate and Evolution module I teach on, the students go into the field twice. They are short trips; they are picked up in Bangor at 9AM and are delivered back at noon. In between we have to drive to the starting point, brief them, do the trip, and get them back to the buses. That leaves little time! But they are still nice trips. This year the Cwm Idwal trip was blessed by amazing weather; the Red Wharf Bay trip would not be THAT good but at least there was no rain forecast.

In Red Wharf Bay we show the students the very old rocks of central Snowdonia (Cambrian to Silurian) and the volcanics rocks associated by subduction. In Red Wharf Bay we show them the slightly later rocks, from when the continents had stopped colliding and the rocks deposited were mainly shallow water carbonates. We have to fill in some geological periods from which there are no sediments in that bay. In red Wharf Bay this shows itself as glacial sediments from the last glaciation lying directly onto Carboniferous limestone. A gap of 360 million years!

My students were rather keen. When there was some time to spare some eagerly started to collect nice rocks, shells and gastropods. I failed to find a nice crinoid for one of them. And the sun came out about halfway into the trip! It was a nice morning out!

 One of the other groups on the carbonate platform

That same group admiring something from a distance

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