Earth Science Week is an annual event promoted by the Geological Society of London to raise the awareness of geology and geologists countrywide. The theme for this year was ‘Our Restless Earth’, which was chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the theory of Plate Tectonics.
In 1967 Dan McKenzie and Robert Parker published their definitive paper ‘The North Pacific: An Example of Tectonics on a Sphere’ in which they demonstrated how the tectonics of that region could be described by the relative monition of ridged lithospheric plates around poles of rotation. Their work marked the birth of plate tectonic theory by providing a mechanism for Continental Drift that accounted for the three basic types of plate boundary: ridges, trenches, and transcurrent faults.
Earth Science Week is one of the Scarborough Museums Trust’s key annual events and over the week 7th to 15th October Tim Burnhill, the Trust’s consultant geologist, gave a series of talks and demonstrations to visitors to the Rotunda Museum. Tim repeated his talk for the benefit of the RGG during Members Evening on the 7th December.
Although North Yorkshire has not been the site of major, plate-scaled, tectonic activity, faults and folds have played an important role in the geological history of the county and in the formation of its unique landscape and spectacular coastline. In his talk, Tim Burnhill described the different types of faults and how they are identified in outcrop and in the subsurface. He illustrated these using examples from the coast of North Yorkshire and showed how these faults relate to regional tectonic activity in the North Sea and further afield. His talk was supported by interactive block models and unique video footage from Kettleness and Ravenscar acquired using a drone.