43rd Annual Conference, Kilbirnie Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall

3rd  to 6th  January, 2005

For details of the next year's conference please see the 2006 conference pages


The Ussher Society's 43rd Annual Conference was held in January at the Kilbirnie Hotel, Newquay, Cornwall . The 4-day conference, expertly organised by Louise Hollick and helpers, comprised field trips (on Monday 3rd and Thursday 6th January) and two days of presentations, incorporating a joint session with the South West Regional Group of the Geological Society.

Presentations on Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th of January included oral or poster presentations in all areas of geology, geomorphology, engineering geology and environmental geology, related to the South West. The Scott Simpson lecture was presented by Alex Halliday on the topic of developments in isotope geochemistry, and a joint, half-day session with the SW Regional Group of the Geological Society took place on the afternoon of Wednesday 5th January, based around the theme of "Coastal zone engineering and management".

The field trip on Monday 3rd January was led by Dr Robin Shail (Camborne School of Mines) and Dr Brian Leveridge (BGS Exeter) and examined the Variscan rocks spectacularly exposed in the cliffs around the Cornish coast near Newquay. A post-conference field trip on Thursday 6th January was led by Dr Richard Scrivener (BGS Exeter) and focused on the mining geology of west Cornwall and included an impromptu strip show!. More details of the field trips will be posted shortly.

In 2006, the Society's 44th  conference will be held in Bideford.

Presenting authors were encouraged to submit their papers for peer review and publication in the Society's journal "Geoscience in Southwest England".


2005 Conference Secretary:

Louise Hollick, British Geological Survey, Forde House, Park 5 Business Centre, Harrier Way, Sowton, Exeter, EX2 7HU
Fax: 01392 445371 --- Telephone: 01392 445271 --- E-mail: lhollick@bgs.ac.uk. Please note that the current (2006) conference secretary can be contacted here.

Conference Programme (2005)

18.00-19.00 Committee meeting at the Kilbirnie Hotel, Newquay

19.00 ICEBREAKER RECEPTION sponsored by IGI Ltd at the Kilbirnie Hotel, Newquay

Tuesday 4th January: Presentations of papers and posters

08.30 onwards Registration – Kilbirnie Hotel

09.10 – 09.20 Chairman’s Introduction
Dr Brian Leveridge

09.20 – 09.45 Valuing geodiversity for conservation in Devon
Peter Scott, David Roche, Clive Nicholas, Robin Shail and Philip Denby

09.45 – 10.10 Geodiversity Audit for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly
Paul Wheeler

10.10 – 10.35 Distressed Somerset – Some aspects of Variscan/Tertiary weathering
Hugh Prudden

10.35 – 11.00 Tea / Coffee Posters available for viewing

11.00 – 12.00 SCOTT SIMPSON LECTURE: Developments in Isotope Geochemistry
Prof. Alex Halliday – Oxford University

12.00 – 12.25 The Production of Dioritic Magmas by Fluid Infiltrational Mixing in the Plutonic
Igneous Complex at Sorel Point, Jersey, Channel Islands
S. Salmon

12.25 – 13.30 Lunch Posters available for viewing

13.30 – 13.55 A simple technique for revealing the texture of Cornubian ore deposits
J B Grant & C W E H Smith

13.55 – 14.20 Gold mineralisation in the Early Devonian passive margin of SW England
B E Leveridge & R C Scrivener

14.20 – 14.45 Large-scale southwards facing structures in the Looe Basin (Lower Devonian):
evidence of basement controls upon Variscan passive margin inversion and post- convergence extension.
R.K. Shail & B.E. Leveridge

14.45 – 15.10 Chronology of the Permian and Triassic of Devon: a review of methods and results
G Warrington

15.10 – 15.35 A review of the stratigraphy and ammonite faunas of the Charmouth Mudstone Formation (Lower Jurassic, mid Lower Sinemurian to basal Upper Pliensbachian) of the West Dorset coast, south-west England.
Kevin Page

15.35 – 15.55 Tea / Coffee Posters available for viewing

15.55 – 16.20 Identifying phases of periglacial slope activity in Cornwall
Dr Jasper Knight

16.20 – 16.40 Soil evolution in the Holocene – a gardener’s view
C M Bristow

16.40 – 17.00 The forgotten spas and mineral springs of south-east Somerset
J D Mather and H C Prudden

17.15 – 18.30 Annual General Meeting of the Ussher Society

18.30 – 20.00 Jazz music and pre-dinner drinks in the Ballroom

20.00 Ussher Society Conference Dinner – Kilbirnie Hotel, Newquay

Wednesday 5th January : Presentations of papers and posters

08.30 onwards Registration – Kilbirnie Hotel

08.55 – 09.00 Chairman’s Introduction
Dr Brian Leveridge

09.00 – 09.25 Petroleum geochemistry of the Wessex Basin (Dorset, UK)
Paul Farrimond, Richard Paterson, Mustafa Erhuma & Andrew Hindle

09.25 – 09.50 Intelligent geochemical databases
Chris Cornford, Tony Gliddon & Chris Burgess

09.50 – 10.15 Geology and Geotechnical aspects of Devonport Dockyard, and implications for redevelopment and New build
Michael Whitworth

10.15 – 10.45 Tea / Coffee Posters available for viewing

10.45 – 11.10 Foraminifera from Restronguet Creek
Olubunmi Olugbode, Malcolm B. Hart & Sheila Stubbles

11.10 – 11.35 The St Erth Formation: geometry of the deposit and micropalaeontology.
Malcolm B. Hart, Richard Messenger, Duncan Pirrie, Lesley Allen, Graeme K. Taylor & Ben Dashwood

11.35 – 12.00 Engineering stratigraphy of the Lower Lias of the Glastonbury District
Alan Cattell

12.00 –12.25 Large-scale partial dissolution of the Chalk of the Devon coast and its engineering significance.
R W Gallois

12.25 – 13.30 Lunch Posters available for viewing

Joint session with SW Regional Group of the Geological Society

13.30 – 14.20 Geological Society South West Keynote Address: Modelling Coastal Morphology and its Evolution
Prof. D Reeve – University of Plymouth

14.20 – 14.45 Cliff stabilisation and management at Beer, East Devon
David Roche and David Allen

14.45 – 15.15 Tea / Coffee Posters available for viewing

15.15 – 15.40 Erosion and failure of an apron of Devensian head on the north coast of Jersey, Channel Islands: Techniques of investigation, results, and significance for future development in an environmentally sensitive area.
J.T. Renouf, J.S. Sharp, S. P.Watson, & R.A.N. MacKean

15.40 – 16.05 Landslide and mass movement process and their distribution, in the Wellington District
K. A. Freeborough, A. Gibson, M. Hall, C. Poulton G. Wildman, A. Forster

16.05 – 16.30 A basis for development of a quantitative risk assessment methodology for coastal slopes in Cornwall
B M Westgate, J S Coggan & R J Pine

Field Excursions

Monday 3rd January: An introduction to the geology of the Newquay area

Scientific directors: Robin Shail, Brian Leveridge & Louise Hollick
Administrative leaders and safety advisors: Chris Cornford or Ran Kelly of Hallsannery Field Centre

The field excursion will provide an overview of the geology of the Newquay area, including aspects of rift basin development and sedimentation (Lower Devonian), geological structures developed during Variscan convergence (Carboniferous), late- to post-Variscan structures, minor igneous intrusions (early Permian), a little mineralization and even some Quaternary sediments – something for everyone !

Meet in the National Trust Car Park at Holywell Bay (SW 767 586) for a 10.30am departure. Warm clothes, hat, gloves, full waterproofs and wellington boots are strongly recommended. Lunch will be taken at a public house. Beach, shore platform and steep flights of steps will be encountered. The itinerary is weather and tide dependent

Thursday 6th January: Mineralisation of the Perranporth and St. Agnes areas

Scientific directors: Richard Scrivener, Simon Camm, Bruce Grant
Administrative leaders and safety advisors: Chris Cornford or Ran Kelly of Hallsannery Field Centre

The excursion will examine a number of localities representative of granite-related mineralization, ‘cross-course’ Pb-Zn veins and the Great Perran Iron Lode.

Departure will be from the public car park at Holywell Bay, where those attending should gather at 09.45 (the car park is close to the entrance to the Penhale Military Camp). Please bring hard hats and wear stout footwear. Lunch will be taken at an appropriate hostelry.

Please note that registration for this excursion is essential as we will be entering the Military Camp: those turning up on the day without registration will not be able to take part.



First Circular

Second Circular

Abstract Submission

Conference Booking

Accommodation Details



Accommodation etc

Smoothound – Search engine for accommodation:

Newquay.co.uk - General site about Newquay and area:

SW Tourism - General south-west information site


National rail enquiries - Rail timetables and information

Traveline - Rail and bus info

Ryanair - Flights from Stansted to Newquay twice every day

Airsouthwest - Flights from Gatwick to Newquay three times a day


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