2nd February: Vincent Laboratory visit
Leader: Owen Green, ( Geological Facilities Manager)
A group of 11 members met in the entrance of the Earth Sciences Department on a Saturday at 02.30pm where we were welcomed by our host Owen Green. The impressive building was purpose- built and opened in 2010. He escorted us into a teaching laboratory where the benches were laid out with an impressive array of rock samples, microscopes and pamphlets – felt a bit like being back at a practical session at University
The subject of Owen's laboratory based 'field event' was: The Upper Jurassic (Middle Oxfordian) Corallian Facies Variations of Oxfordshire'. Over the first half hour Owen gave us a 'lecture' on the topic, taking us through a number of slides, illustrating the history and geology of a period in our past when 'Oxfordshire' was covered by a warm very shallow sea. The final part of the talk focussed on the concept of 'facies variation (lateral and vertical) throughout the Corallian', which initially rather lost some of us. Owen's ultimate aim was to set us the target of producing a 'composite graphic log of the facies' by examining the composition, grain size fossil types etc (using crib sheets) found in the various samples shown which had been obtained from different locations in Oxfordshire. Initially, this challenge proved somewhat beyond our capabilities and understanding so after further discussions the target sank somewhat into the background. Instead great fun was had examining the samples both by naked eye or with lens or microscope. Details of the rock formation and various fossil types were revealed, often to the amazement of what seemed just sand. Many fossils were identified. With some better knowledge gained, some attendees then rose to the initial challenge and managed to at least start the chart. Throughout Owen was available to explain and guide us through samples. Overall the afternoon was enjoyable, absorbing session, albeit challenging at times.
The meeting finished around 04.30 pm with thanks conveyed to Owen not only for his time that day, but also for the considerable preparation time he put in (and indeed needed to spend to clear the laboratory).
Report: Graham Bateman
- Peter Rockett, Diane June Rockett, Graham Bateman, Nigel Gregory, Caroline Gregory, Bill Temple, David Lloyd, Michael Bloom, Victoria Kozlova, Denise Greguoldo, Cynth Knapper.