Earth Science Week 2015
23 October 2015
The Age of the British Isles: Come on a date with UCL Earth Sciences #UCLESDating! As part of the International Earth Science Week 2015, UCL Earth Sciences and UCL PACE (Public and Cultural Engagement) presented a special pop-up exhibition exploring the age of one of the most geologically diverse places on Earth - the British Isles. The Earth Science Week is a yearly event run since 2011 and coordinated by the Geological Society with events all over the UK and Ireland.
The theme for the 2015’s Earth Science Week is ‘Geological Time.’ From 3 billion years to the present day, Britain’s geological history spans the history of life on this planet. Earth Scientists from UCL were on hand to give demonstrations of some common dating techniques, while museum specimens and samples collected by staff were made available for a hands on experience exploring the history of the ground we stand on.
The event attracted a large number of not only students and staff from the Earth Science department and UCL but external visitors who found out about our event from the Earth Science Week 2015 site. All visitors were interested in the rocks, minerals and fossils that we have exhibited and entertained by our in-house geologists Drs Ruth Siddall and Wendy Kirk. This was a hands-on exhibition where visitors were encouraged to examine the specimens themselves and check them out under the scope.
Some had a go at being a geochronologist for the afternoon and attempted to determine the age of rocks with a use of an software application under a skilled tutelage of Dr Pieter Vermeesch, our resident geochronologist and statistician who de-mystified the fission tracks formation, explained how radioactive isotopes are used for dating and gave us a preview of what equipment he uses in his research at the London Geochronology Centre.