24 March 2021

Annual trip to Parys Mountain

 If you want to do a trip in the field during a pandemic, then Parys Mountain is a good place to go. It is in the middle of nowhere, it is well ventilated, and it is not busy. So when our annual trip with the first year students was due again I was looking forward to it.

We did the usual routine of me going to meet the buses on the main campus, allocating seats to the students, and following the buses to our destination. There we met the other staff and students who had driven themselves. And then we were go!

The whole site bears witness to the Silurian and Devonian times, when the Iapetus Ocean was closing or closed, and the Ordovician bedrock was affected by hydrothermal activity associated with back arc extension. And all of that then deformed by continental collision. We only have four geology sites there; the viewing platform which gives you the overview; a location from which you can see the whole geology is in the shape of a big syncline; the "central boss" which shows strong evidence of hydrothermal activity; and a black outcrop which consists of the products of a black smoker. I did the spiel for all of these. And then my job was done!

The next thing on the agenda was lunch. We sat in the ruins of the mine offices and ate our sandwiches. And when we were done, Dei took over. He did the historical part of this trip. As we had exhausted the geology, he led this past the settling ponds, kilns, the engine house and the windmill. And then we were done!

I been a very pleasant day. The weather was kind to us, which can't be taken for granted in March on Parys Mountain. We left by something like 3 o'clock. A nice end to a busy week!

The great open pit

Dei talking history

No comments: