Did you feel it?

On 22nd September 2002, an earthquake of magnitude 4.7 on the Richter scale struck the UK with it’s epicentre located just outside Dudley. It was one of the largest earthquakes in the UK, a country not usually affected by strong seismic activity. Fortunately there was little damage and no-one was injured, but it is a [...]

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Black Country Bricks

Black Country geology is often celebrated for those three things that were so crucial to the industrial revolution: Coal, limestone and iron ore, but there is another rock which is often forgotten: Clay. There were many different variations of clays, and each could be used to produce characteristic products. There is no ambiguity about the [...]

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The language of the quarryman

At the same time that scientists were beginning to differentiate and name rock units, the quarrymen working deep in the mines underneath Wren’s Nest would have developed their own naming system for the rocks they encountered. Working by candlelight, their names would have been based on basic features and the look of the rock. Experienced [...]

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Libyan Desert Silica Glass

This mysterious material was ‘rediscovered’ in December 1932 by Patrick Clayton whilst leading an expedition for the Egyptian ‘Desert Surveys Department’ across the Great Sand Sea of the western desert, near the Libyan border. It was found lying around in some quantity in the open ‘streets’ between ranks of high longitudinal dunes and has since [...]

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A way with words

This short but amusing extract entitled ‘Geobabble’ was taken from the newsletter of the Black Country Geological Society number 160, August 2003. A favourite word of mine however, is PENECONTEMPORANEOUSLY. Perhaps not a Technical term, but an adverb that I have only see used in a geological context. Indeed, I have only seen it used in [...]

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Erratic Anvil’s

This is an extract from the Black Country Geological Society newsletter number 210, December 2011. It investigates how glacial erratics have been used as a local resouce in the Black Country. Each area of the Black Country has always been associated with its own specialised trade and Bloxwich is no exception, having long been a [...]

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Rock with laughter

This short but amusing extract entitled ‘Geobabble’ was taken from the newsletter of the Black Country Geological Society number 187, December 2007. It reveals that even minerals can have a sense of humour at this festive time of year. Petrology deals with the origin, composition, structure, and alteration of rocks. To do this geologists slice up perfectly good [...]

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Ore inspiring

This is an extract from ‘The Dudley Bug’ section in the Black Country Geological Society newsletter 209: October 2011. Today we use metal for practically everything, over the last 50 years uses and demand for metals has increased due to their properties. The most common metals we use in today’s modern society include copper, aluminium, [...]

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A Quick Guide to the Isle of Skye, Scotland

This is an extract from the newsletter of The ‘Black Country Geological Society‘, No. 197 October 2009. This was part of the regular section entitled ‘The Dudley Bug’ written by members Alison Roberts and Chris Broughton. The Isle of Skye is the largest of the Inner Hebridean Islands with an area of 3000Km2. Portree is the [...]

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Only a geologist would buy a thing like this…

My first rock ‘n’ gem show  for three years promised to be an expensive day, so I bulked up my wallet and headed down to Cheltenham Racecourse last month to expand my collection. As I entered the show hall I had that un-natural geological excitement at the sight of “pretty rocks”. The traders had to [...]

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