BSRG PG Fieldtrip: Scarborough (2012)

Following on from last year’s field trip to Italy, we decided to hold the 10th Annual BSRG Postgraduate Trip (16th-18th November 2012) much closer to home and opted for sunny Scarborough in north-east Yorkshire, staying at the Green Gables Hotel.  As a much anticipated trip including everything from fluvial to shallow marine deposits and shelfal mudstones, spaces were quickly snapped up by 28 students, representing 14 different Universities from across the UK and Ireland. We were very fortunate to have regional geology expert Dr Sarah Davies (Senior Lecturer in Sedimentology, University of Leicester) lead.
We kick started our weekend on Friday afternoon with lunch and an icebreaker; everyone introduced themselves and their research using three slides and three minutes. Following dinner at the hotel we hosted a competitive and highly enjoyable quiz, which ended with “Team Rocky” being the worthy winners.
Saturday morning began bright and early with the group travelling to Cloughton Wyke to view the Jurassic non-marine deposits of the Cloughton Formation (base of the Scarborough Formation) and later to Scalby Bay where we walked on exposed meander belts and saw a (slightly controversial) dinosaur footprint. After dark we took our muddy field boots to the William Smith Museum of Geology (Rotunda), where we were knowledgeably guided by Prof. Peter Rawson, Chairman of the Scarborough Museums Trust. A highly enjoyable time was had by all.
Our evening antics consisted of an Italian 3-course meal (where we were thoroughly entertained and “welcomed” to Scarborough by a female passer-by!), followed by plenty of dancing and karaoke into the early hours....
A little worse for wear, we began our final day at Ravenscar, where we were able to stand on the line of the Peak Fault as it extends seawards from the cliff. Here massive sandstones from the Ravenscar Group (East cliff) are juxtaposed against the Staithes Sandstone Formation and Redcar Mudstone Formation to the West. We later dropped down into Robin Hood’s Bay and walked along the wave cut platform in search of Ammonites, Belemnites, Thalassinoides and other Jurassic marine fossils. Discussions were had relating to the Mulgrave Shale Member that makes up the cliff section. We then drove back to Scarborough and rounded the weekend off with fish and chips on the seafront.
We are grateful to all those who came for making the trip so memorable. Special thanks to Dr Sarah Davies (Leicester University), Prof. Peter Rawson (Hull University) and Dr Martin Wells (BP) for their invaluable contributions and also to BP for providing sponsorship. Thanks also to Legends of Nottinghamshire (aka Dan’s dad) for generously donating our quiz prizes (comprising bow and arrow, sword and Robin Hood hat!).

Looking forward to seeing you all in Dublin for the AGM!

Alice Gulliford (University of Manchester), Gemma Jones (Imperial College London) and Dan Stokes (University College Dublin) – BSRG Postgraduate Representatives and field trip organisers 2012