BSRG Annual General Meeting - University of Hull 2013

The 52nd British Sedimentological Research Group (BSRG) Annual General Meeting was held at The University of Hull from 18th-21st December 2013 and convened by Dan Parsons, Arjan Reesink and Claire Keevil. There were 143 delegates from over 47 universities, companies, consultancies and institutions. Generous sponsorship was provided by BG Group, BP, Neftex and Beta Analytical.

The BSRG’s arrival symbolically emphasised the rebirth of the Geology undergraduate programme in Hull. In the fateful year of 1989, the BSRG AGM had been forced to move to Leeds when Hull’s geology programme closed. In the years that followed, Hull’s geology was forced ‘to go underground’ where it remained alive and well. A minor unconformity - a few decades means little in geology…..alongside the re-established geology curriculum, the 2013 AGM provided an excellent opportunity to showcase Geology in East Yorkshire.

The meeting was well attended by diverse groups from start to finish. The meeting started on Wednesday evening with an ice-breaker at the local brewery, Brewery Wharf, where a near-complete attendance, live music, plenty of food and different varieties of micro-brew local ale livened up the evening.

The conference was opened by Lynne Frostick (former Geological Society of London President and Hull Emeritus Professor) and the talks and poster sessions on Thursday and Friday evidenced the breadth and high quality of sedimentological research performed in the past 12 months by our community. Keynote presentations spanned across the breadth of this work: Carbonate Facies (Dan Bosence, who received the 2012 Perce Allan Award; photo on the right), Marine Influences on Fluvial Systems (Adrian Hartley), The Physical Characteristics and Applied Importance of Shales (Andrew Aplin), and Mass-Transport Complexes (Chris Jackson). State-of-the-art technology presented in an opening plenary session included the combination of 3D outcrop mapping by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Structure from Motion analysis (John Howell), and spinning steam tables that allow quantitative analysis of the Coriolis forces in large submarine channels (Jeff Peakall). Presentations and posters covered the spectrum of sedimentology with scales from clast to continent, with collision of flocs to those of planetary bodies that led to mass extinctions - and sediments from every system between the mountains and the deep ocean. In addition, oral and poster sessions specifically focused on the transport, deposition and economic significance of fine-grained sediments were held in association with the Clay Minerals Group. The details of the breadth and depth of the presented research can be found in the abstract volume, which can be downloaded here.

The AGM Business Meeting played host to the BSRG Awards ceremony. Henry Pantin (University of Leeds) received the Perce Allen Award to recognise his significant contribution to the fields of sedimentology and deep-water systems and notably auto-suspension. Jessica Ross (University of Leeds) received the Harold Reading Medal for the postgraduate or recent postgraduate who has been judged to have produced the best publication arising directly from a PhD project in the field of sedimentology and stratigraphy in the preceding year. Her paper, which is entitled “An integrated model of extrusive sand injectites in cohesionless sediments”, was published in Sedimentology in 2011. The prize for the best student poster presented at the 2013 AGM was won by Chris Herbert (University of East Anglia), and there were commendations for Rachel Lamb (Manchester) and Janet Sherwin (University of Leicester).

The conference dinner was held in The DEEP, the world-renowned aquarium that is situated at the edge of the Humber estuary, and which is the home of the University of Hull’s Total Environment Simulator flume laboratory. Over 100 delegates attended the dinner, danced (photo above) between the aquariums to classic rock tunes, and many continued their festivities late into the Hull night. Most importantly, Marco Fonnesu (University College Dublin) won the inaugural BSRG limbo dance competition!

After the main technical conference, Mike Horne and members of the Hull Geological Society led 22 delegates on a field trip to exposures of the spectacular Yorkshire coast on a wonderfully sunny mid-winter day (photo below). The fieldtrip focussed on the outcrops between Bridlington and Scarborough, with a hearty pub lunch on the winter solstice to keep energy level high.

Dan Parsons, Arjan Reesink and Claire Keevil