Can You Help Advance the Understanding of Norfolk Geology?

Can You Help Advance the Understanding of Norfolk Geology?

Can you help advance the understanding of Norfolk Geology?

In Norfolk we have some almost unique geology that contributes to the understanding of the Quaternary palaeo-climate and the many associated changes in sea level during the Pleistocene. There are type sites, but often the exposures are temporary and many are not well recorded. Those that have some permanence have been interpreted in the past but the sophistication of our understanding has since increased and consequently many such interpretations are now probably over-simplistic. Moreover understanding the geology of eastern Norfolk from the few sites available is like trying to determine what is going on in the world just by looking through key-holes!

Archaeologists have the right to investigate excavations but not geologists. The result is that good geology gets exposed but then covered up and perhaps built on before we can see it.

There are current developments at the BGS to develop “GeoExposure” with the support of the Geological Society Stratigraphy Commission, which offers a forum to record temporary sections. GeoExposure is a community-based ‘crowd sourcing’ web site that captures the geology of temporary exposures that is often lost to our science. Amateurs and professionals can locate a temporary site (excavation; pipeline; road cut etc.) on a Google map; briefly log the site geology on a pro-forma, and upload .jpg photo images via a smart phone or by using more traditional methods via the web site. Information can also be captured by traditional hard copy and OS maps then uploaded to the web site from a PC etc. The information will be available to all and will be stored on a web site external to BGS, but deployed by BGS using ‘Ushihidi’ (Swahili for testimony) crowd-sourcing software.

TheCounty Geodiversity Sites (CGS) groupwants to be involved in “GeoExposure” but we also want to be involved in the interpretation ourselves in parallel with the BGS. That is where you can contribute! What we need in Norfolk is a group of alert intelligent persons willing to be geologically aware. The CGS group needs helpers to be involved in a process we call “Rescue Geology”.

Just recently a member saw an excavation on a building site that had revealed very unusual strata. It was supposed to be marine Norwich Crag but he has written it up an alternative interpretation and submitted a paper for publication. Not every site will be so exciting but let’s try to expand this type of “Geology Rescue” activity.

All levels of interest and expertise are needed. You could be someone who just reports that an exposure exists, or go on to participate in the recording and the final interpretation.

As a member of the OUGS are you willing to volunteer? If so please register with the Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership.There would be no commitment only a willingness to contribute.

For the time being Elvin Thurston is coordinating this activity. Contact him at , or send a letter to 32 Lenthall Close, Norwich, NR7 0UU, perhaps describing the area you could cover, and how you could be involved.