Past lectures 2023 – 2024

3rd October.

Colonel Martin Amlôt

Presidential Address – Geology of Conflict part 2

17th October

Joaquín Alberto Cortés – Senior lecturer, Edge Hill University.

Volcanoes in the southern volcanic zone of the Andes.

Arc volcanoes, a direct consequence of magma generation in subduction zones, are highly hazardous volcanoes, forming long chains of characteristic cone-shape edifices. In this presentation the Andean arc and its volcanoes are explored, focussing on:

  • how magmas are produced,
  • why they predominately behave explosively and
  • how the different segments of the Andean arc affect the behaviour of the volcanoes located on them.

The presentation will also introduce key Andean volcanoes and some relevant eruptions.

31st October

Dr Michael Burn – Liverpool John Moores University.

On the interpretation of natural archives of Atlantic tropical cyclone activity.

One of the biggest challenges for hurricane scientists is to predict how Atlantic tropical cyclones will respond to human-induced climate change during the 21st Century so that regional governments can prepare appropriate climate mitigation strategies. Climate models rely on meteorological records to understand how storm activity has responded to climate change since the mid-nineteenth Century; however, natural archives are needed to detect changes in the variability of storms over longer time scales. In this talk, I will compare the different approaches taken to reconstruct Late Holocene Atlantic storm activity and discuss their application to better constrain climate model projections of hurricane activity for the 21st Century.

14th November

Prof Peter Falkingham – Liverpool John Moores University.

What fossil footprints can tell us about extinct animals.

In his talk, Peter will be looking at the ways fossil footprints can tell us about the animals that made them, with a particular emphasis on dinosaurs. We can’t watch extinct animals move, so their trackways are the best evidence we have for how they moved and interacted with their environment. This can extend from grand scale interpretations about migrations and herd movements, all the way down to the motions a specific foot made in a very specific type of mud, hundreds of millions of years ago.

28th November

Dr Maggie Williams – University of Liverpool

Practical session in the CTL – Microfossils.

In this practical you will be using zoom microscopes to investigate microfossils. You will be provided with worksheets to familiarise yourself with the characteristics of different microfossils in grain mounts. You should bring your own writing pens/ pencils/ rulers etc. – and you may find it useful to bring a usb drive to save images that you capture. The practical session will be held in the ENVS lab in the CTL and will start at 7.30 pm. Meet at 7.20 outside Lecture Theatre C in the Central Teaching Hub, University of Liverpool. Entrance will be via the main door.

9th January

LGS Members’ evening – three LGS members will give brief talks:

Chris Hunt: 2021, ’22, ’23, ‘2……………… Fish and Chips in Grindavik

Mike Stoddart: Pitts Head Tuff

23rd January

Dr Jeff Harris – School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow

‘The diamond deposits of Namibia.’

In his talk, Jeff will consider the history and mining of diamonds in Namibia, firstly considering deposits south of Luderitz, then along the lower reaches of the Orange river and finally the 60 km long beach deposits north of that river estuary. Future Namibian diamond production will be also briefly assessed.

6th Feb.

Katy Chamberlain is an igneous petrologist and volcanologist, specialising in the interpretation of pre-eruptive magmatic evolution using geochemical analyses of erupted products. She has worked all over the world, studying super-eruptive processes in the Bishop Tuff (USA), ocean island volcanism at Ascension Island and the Canary Islands, and subduction zones processes in the Southern Volcanic Zone of Chile.

In this talk she will discuss ways we can resolve the timescales of magmatic processes that lead to an eruption, and understand over what timeframes we may see unrest before future eruptions. Using the super eruptive Bishop Tuff deposit and the recent 2021 La Palma eruption as case studies, she will show how crystal cargoes record pre-eruptive changes that are vital for helping us to translate geophysical signals before an eruption into processes occurring at depth.

29th Feb.

Hazel Clark – Liverpool John Moores University

‘What do a 90m long tapestry; a diamond beach; a garden of crystals and buildings designed to look like lava flows have in common?  The LGS 2024 field visit to Iceland.’

The dramatic landscapes of Iceland are mostly created by volcanic and glacial activity or a (usually catastrophic) combination of the two. This tour of the island will explore the scenery of the “Land of Ice and Fire”, from effusive to explosive volcanoes; the largest icecap in Europe, spectacular coastal scenery and the devastating effect that a major landslide can have on a small community

27th Feb.

Dr Maggie Williams – University of Liverpool

‘Uranium Mining in Greenland’

In this talk the problems and controversies concerning extraction of uranium in Greenland will be outlined.

Apologies: Nick Smith’s talk on ‘Nuclear Waste Disposal’ will be rescheduled on a date in the near future.

5th March

Amanda Hughes – Edge Hill University

‘The volcanic evolution of Þingmúli Central Volcano: East Fjords, Iceland.’


Þingmúli central volcano is an extensively eroded Miocene (~9.5 Ma) volcanic edifice in the East Fjords, Iceland. In this presentation, the physical volcanology and volcanic evolution of the Þingmúli edifice is explored, using the characteristics of its lavas, morphology, and alteration products. The presentation will also outline volcanism in Iceland, and how volcanic histories from ancient volcanoes can be applied to its modern-day volcanism.

12th March

Dr Emma Biles – Liverpool John Moores University

‘Water pollution in the Philippines.’

Emma’s talk will focus on the impact of mining and other anthropogenic activities on river water quality in the Philippines Agno catchment. We will briefly examine the history of mining in the Philippines and consider why the location is attractive, gain an understanding of the importance of water quality monitoring and review recently collected data, and reflect upon ways that the catchment might be managed to meet the needs of the future.

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