Every Wednesday from 17 April to 22 May 2013. Field trips TBA. A course by Hadrian Cook and Steve Hannath. We take geology for granted; after all, the expression ‘as old as the hills’ implies stability, a given in our lives with the physical landscape both backdrop and foundation upon which our daily life occurs. Is Wessex, the quiet land of Thomas Hardy and the Wurzels, an exception on an Earth that explodes with volcanoes and is washed by tsunamis? Is it a geological backwater that somehow has evaded plate tectonics? Of course this is not the case , for it may lack serious geological upheaval, but the land around us has nonetheless been shaped by Earth processes. The impact of mountain building, plate tectonics and climatic change is as evident here as anywhere; it is just more subtle. Furthermore, Wessex is an internationally renowned area and well suited to explore geology.
This course explores the rocks, fossils and landforms of our famous region, revealing both the dynamics and utility of the Wessex landscape. It also draws out the relationship of the rocks to our cultural landscapes such as prehistory, vernacular architecture, settlement patterns, extractive industries and water supplies.
This course explores the wider concepts and understanding that underpin the science of Geology but uses local examples to further local understanding. There will be lectures, the chance to handle specimens and the opportunity for fieldwork both local and at Charmouth/Lyme Regis on the classic Jurassic coastline.