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Proceedings 14

Summary of papers

Schofield, D.I. (2009). What’s in the Welsh Basin?: insights into the evolution of Central Wales and the Welsh Borderlands during the Lower Palaeozoic. 17pp.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) has a long history of geological study in the Welsh Basin starting in the mid 19th century under the directorship of Sir Henry Thomas de la Beche, founder of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, and subsequently under Sir Roderick Impey Murchison who had earlier undertaken pioneering stratigraphic studies in the area, at the same time as the Reverend Professor Adam Sedgwick.

During the first half of the 20th century, geological studies in the region were led by Professor O.T. Jones. By 1912 he had proposed an overall structure for the region, within which sediments had been transported from an uplifted area underlying much of England into the deep water of the Welsh Basin. Together with his colleague and lifetime friend, W.J. Pugh, who subsequently became director general of the Geological Survey they identified extensive volcanic activity around Builth Wells.

The current phase of work by the BGS started in the mid 1980’s and has largely been driven by the requirement to complete 1:50,000 scale geological map coverage of Wales and the Welsh Borderlands. High quality academic studies have been conducted in the area and the results need to be integrated with the Survey’s mapping. This new phase commenced with a transect across the central part of the Welsh Basin in the Rhayader and Llanilar districts, aiming to establish a workable stratigraphy for the turbidite sequences within the basin informed by new concepts on deep marine sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy and the relationship between depositional facies, eustacy and tectonics.

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Donovan, S.K. (2009). Silurian crinoids from Dudley to Wenlock Edge. 2pp.

It is an unproven assumption that the crinoid debris found in the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation of Wenlock Edge represents similar, probably the same, species as are known from the Wrens Nest. This assumption is being tested by comparing the well preserved crinoids of Dudley with the disarticulated plates found on Wenlock Edge. Some congruence is found, demonstrated by reference to the cladid crinoid Gissocrinus spp.

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Voyce, K.J. (2009). Groundwater Management: the Shropshire Groundwater Scheme. 10pp.

Shropshire’s water is dominated by the River Severn catchment. This covers a huge area and is responsible for supplying much of the West Midland’s water needs. The Environment Agency is responsible for the operation and development of the Shropshire Groundwater Management Scheme (SGMS). Located solely within North Shropshire this is the largest of the UK’s groundwater regulation projects. SGMS has grown to include 50 groundwater abstraction boreholes linked to a series of underground pipes that discharge into the River Severn. The scheme employs boreholes to abstract groundwater for supply and others which are drilled to establish geological formations and to enable decisions to be made regarding the availability of water. The scheme has six development areas and is being constructed in eight stages. At the present time, four phases have been completed and the fifth is underway.

The SGMS is designed to be used, on average, once every three years to meet peak dry weather demands for water. Water is pumped from groundwater reserves naturally stored within the North Shropshire Permo-Triassic Sandstone formations and released in conjunction with surface water reservoir releases to balance the demands of abstractors while safe guarding the ecological needs of the river environment.

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Francis, K. (2009). New thoughts on the Origins of Downton Gorge. 12pp.

With access to the latest Ordnance Survey height data and using Global Mapper to produce profiles, new evidence has been found which suggests a pre-glacial period of drainage reversal in the vicinity of Downton Gorge. The overflow point for Glacial Lake Wigmore is shown to have been further east than previously thought, and actually within the area now containing the gorge.

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Jenkinson, A., Pannett, D., Thomas, G.S.P. & Rosenbaum, M.S. (2009). Field Meeting Report: Glacial Landscapes around Llangadfan, Powys, led by Andrew Jenkinson and David Pannett, 16th May 2009. 5pp.

The relation between bedrock geology and landscape has been demonstrated, considered and discussed along the valley of the Afon Banwy, between Llanfair Caereinion and Llangadfan, Powys. The Ordovician-Silurian turbidite bedrock has been folded into two broad synclines separated by an anticline, partially offset by NW-SE trending faults. The distribution of weak and strong sedimentary beds has controlled the etching by erosion of an ancient land surface, widely developed throughout central Wales. This basic landscape has been modified by a series of Quaternary ice ages and their aggressive glacial and periglacial weathering regimes.

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Rosenbaum, M.S. (2009). Field Meeting Report: Geological sites in the vicinity of Telford, led by David C Smith, 22nd August 2009. 9pp.

A number of geologically interesting sites in the vicinity of Telford were visited in order to demonstrate the diversity of features recorded within designated RIGS. The sites included: Blockleys Brick Pit (Upper Carboniferous), St George’s Church Oakengates (Upper Carboniferous), St Michael’s Church Lilleshall (Cambrian; Upper Carboniferous), Duke of Sutherland’s Monument Lilleshall (Uriconian Precambrian; Upper Carboniferous), Colliers Side Quarry associated with Lilleshall Limestone Mines (Upper Carboniferous), and Great Bolas (Permian/Triassic unconformity).

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To cite an article from this publication:
Schofield, D.I. (2009). What’s in the Welsh Basin?: insights into the evolution of Central Wales and the Welsh Borderlands during the Lower Palaeozoic. Proceedings of the Shropshire Geological Society14, 1-17. ISSN 1750-855X (Print), ISSN 1750-8568 (Online) [Online at www.shropshiregeology.org.uk/Proceedings; printed copy in press]

© 2009 Shropshire Geological Society

Proceedings No 14 2009