Field Geology in South Shropshire (Part 2)
Level 0 (CQFW Level 3), 10 Credits.
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In this tract of the Welsh Borderland is found some of its most attractive scenery and varied geology. Part 2 examines Ordovician rocks and metalliferous ores close to the Powys border, highly fossiliferous Silurian limestones on Wenlock Edge, Old Red Sandstone strata near Ludlow, and Carboniferous rocks in roadstone quarries and former coal mines on Clee Hill.
No prior knowledge of geology or the area is assumed, so this course is also suitable for anyone who was not on Part 1.
Please note that you will need to make your own travel and accommodation arrangements, with meetings times and places to be confirmed.
Topics to be covered:
- Landforms: an understanding of those in south Shropshire in general, with particular reference to those areas to be studied on Part 2.
- The relationship between landforms and the underlying geology.
- Geological history: an understanding of this in south Shropshire in general, with particular reference to those areas to be studied on Part 2. Evidence will be demonstrated for the control of much geological activity in the area during Ordovician and Silurian times by movement on the Welsh Borderland Fault System: how this created dominantly deep water and volcanic eruptions in the west, while land and shallow seas, including tropical coral reefs, were present to the east; the change from marine to continental environments during late Silurian and throughout Devonian times will be examined , when the Old Red Sandstone was laid down in river basins under a semi-arid climate; around the beginning of Carboniferous times hot fluids, containing lead, zinc, and barite, rose up into fissures, to form metalliferous ores, while in the late Carboniferous, coal deposits were laid down: both these, together with an intrusion of thick dolerite, were subsequently of great importance during the Industrial Revolution, and their legacy will be explored. During recent geological times, ice sheets covered much of the study area, and frost action produced distinct craggy ‘tors’ in the hardest rocks; near Telford, glacial meltwaters cut a deep gorge through the Silurian limestones, through which the river Severn now flows.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Anyone enrolling on this course will need to provide their own PPE, as specified below.
- Warm, waterproof jacket and trousers
- Hard hat (tutor can lend to course attendees)
- Strong boots with good tread and ankle support.
Who is this course for?
Anyone who has, or wishes, to develop an interest in practical geology.
Learning and Teaching
Fieldtrips spread across four days with an emphasis on practical observation and recognition of significant features. 20 contact hours.
Students will be taught the basics of geological science, and the geology (including landforms) of the study area firstly through background reading of the handout forwarded to them in advance of the course (includes text, maps and descriptive annotated sketches); they will then be shown many of the aspects described in the handout in the field, having the handout available at all times for reference. Field skills will be taught during the course, including how to observe and record, how to sample good reference specimens, and to be aware of and act on, key aspects of geological conservation and safety.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
- Whitten with Brooks. 1974. A Dictionary of Geology. Penguin.
- Kearey. 1996. The New Penguin Dictionary of Geology. Penguin.
- Mondadori. 1977. The Macdonald Encyclopaedia of Rocks and Minerals. Macdonald.
- Van Rose and Mercer. Volcanoes. The Natural History Museum. ISBN 0-565-09138-7.
- British Museum (Natural History). 1969. British Palaeozoic Fossils. London.
- Fortey. 2005. Fossils: The Key to the Past. The Natural History Museum.
- Geological Museum. 1978. Britain before Man. HMSO.
- Hunter and Easterbrook. 2004. The Geological History of the British Isles. The Open University.
- Earp and Haines. 1971. The Welsh Borderland. HMSO.
- Haines and Horton. 1969. Central England. HMSO.
- Toghill. 1990. Geology in Shropshire. Swan Hill.
- Harley. 1988. Wenlock Edge Geology Teaching Trail. Nature Conservancy Council.
- Allbutt, Moseley, Rayner and Toghill. 2002. The Geology of South Shropshire.
- Geologists’ Association Guide. No. 27.
- Phillips and Stratford. 1999. Shropshire Geology. Phillips Tutorials.
- Pearce (ed). 1995. Mining in Shropshire. Shropshire Books.
- Shropshire County Council. Snailbeach Mine. (A leaflet describing two mine trails for the public.)
- Jenkins. 1983. Titterstone Clee Hills Everyday Life Industrial History and Dialect. Published by author.
- Pybus and Pybus. 1996. Exploring Shropshire Ten Walks that Changed the World. Shropshire Books.
- British Geological Survey 1:50 000 scale maps of England and Wales:
- Sheets 181 ‘Ludlow; 152 ‘Shrewsbury’, 165 ‘Montgomery’, 166 ‘Church Stretton’.
Please note that it is not essential that attendees on this course read any of the publications listed in order to complete the course successfully.
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cf.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.