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Thursday 21st March, talks on geothermal energy

On Thursday 21st March at 18:30 upstairs in the RCA, Conwy, Dr. Gloria Arancibia will give a talk entitled:
“Fluid flow in fractured geothermal systems: an example from the Andean Southern Volcanic Zone”
and Dr. Diego Morata will give a talk entitled
Talk title: “Geothermal development in Chile: a century of exploration ending in the first South America power plant”
The venue will be open from 18:00 for pre-talk drinks and socialising.

Dr. Gloria Arancibia is a full professor at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and an academic visitor at the University of Liverpool. She has over 25 years of experience on Rock Deformation topics and Fault zones in the Andes. Her main research topics relate to controlling structural and tectonic processes on crustal fluid circulation. She has published +50 indexed Web of Science papers and participated in more than 25 research projects granted by international and national public agencies. The results of her research group have been presented at more than 140 international conferences. After several years as a mining consultant, she entered the Academy in the Engineering School at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile when the percentage of women was close to 5%. In 2022, She was the first female academic to be promoted to the full-professor category in the 135 years since the founding of the Engineering School. Currently, she is a role model in her country for female promotion in science to break barriers to access to the STEM disciplines.

Dr. Diego Morata is a full professor at the Department of Geology in the Universidad de Chile. His man research activities are related with the petrogenesis of magmatic rocks in subduction zones and hydrothermal (very low- to low-T) alteration processes. From 2010 he is the Director of the Andean Geothermal Center of Excellence (CEGA), hosted at the Universidad de Chile. He has a robust and huge experience in Andean geothermal systems, both for high-T as for direct use. He is the responsible of different direct use pilot projects along the country aimed to show the benefits of geothermal energy in Chile and rest of the Andean countries. He is author or co-author of +150 WoS papers, 36 non-ISI papers and more than 200 congress presentations. During his academic career he was responsible or co-investigator of +40 national or international research projects. From 2013 to present he is member of the Editorial Board in the journal Geothermal Energy and he was member of the Board of Directors, International Geothermal Association (IGA, 2016-2020). From August 2023 to July 2024 he is a visitor professor at the University of Liverpool.

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Thursday 15th February 2024: talk by Paul Cornick on the Wilcox in GoM. 18:00 for 18:30 at the RCA, Conwy.

Posted in Cluster Meetings, News |

Thursday 18th January 2024: talk by Prof. Michael Stephenson, at the RCA Conwy, 18:00 for 18:30

We are pleased to start 2024 with a talk from Prof. Michael Stephenson on “Palynology of the Hercynian unconformity across the Arabian plate, from the Levant to southern Arabia”. As usual, the meeting will be upstairs at the RCA Conwy, LL32 8AN, with doors opening for refreshments at 18:00 and the talk scheduled to start at 18:30. All are welcome but please let us know (e-mail if you plan to attend, so we may cater accordingly.


The areal extent of the Hercynian unconformity and the hiatus it represents are important economically because typical Arabian source and reservoir rocks are often not present because of erosion (or non-deposition) related to the unconformity. Rocks affected by this include the Berwath, Jubah, and Jauf formations in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states; and the Misfar Group and Haima Supergroup in Oman. The unconformity therefore affects access to geological formations that could hold oil and gas, or could be suitable for CCS targets, for geothermal, or for heat and cool storage.

This survey of the palynostratigraphy of the HU indicates that the range of its associated hiatus, due to either non-deposition or erosion (or both), varies considerably across the Arabian Plate depending on the position of the sequence in relation to the three main highs or arches, and any Hercynian faulting or other uplift in basinal region, for example in the Ghawar region. As expected, the succession spanning the HU is most complete in basinal areas, for example in the Nafud-Ma’aniya Basin where a very short temporal hiatus of maximum duration of approximately Serpukhovian to Bashkirian, occurs in well KH-5/1 close to the axis of the Basin. The variability of the effects of Hercynian movements may be a consequence simply of distance from Hercynian activity, or of depths within the basin that meant that uplift was not large enough to lead to either erosion or non-deposition.

Palynological assemblages in rocks above above the HU indicate the diachronous onset of the basal Khuff clastics northwest through the Arabian Plate over a period of around 15 my, from the early Wordian (base ~269 My) in Oman in the south of the Arabian Plate to the Changhsingian (base ~254 My) in Jordan in the north of the Arabian Plate. The oldest strata above the HU across the Arabian Plate also indicate systematic variation, probably due to palaeoclimate with assemblages of probably similar age in Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia showing some similarities to those of Oman, the differences probably being due to a strong climatic gradient at the time. Those below the unconformity are shown to vary considerably across the Arabian Plate depending on the position of the sequence in relation to the three main highs or arches, and any Hercynian faulting or other uplift in basinal regions, for example in the Ghawar region.

This talk contains only information in the public domain.

Posted in Cluster Meetings, News |

December 14th: Talk by Prof. David Harper at the RCA Conwy, 18:00 for 18:30

The Ordovician Period was one of the most important in the history of life on our planet. But the system remained obscured by the conflict between Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison, hidden within the Silurian until the early years of the 20th Century. Key to its recognition were the Ordovician rocks of the Southern Upland of Scotland and the strata around Bala Lake in North Wales. I will review its turbulent early history and outline the importance of the period for the diversification of marine life, the early colonization of the land and the establishment of more modern climates.

The speaker:

David Harper is a leading international expert on palaeontology and the fossil record. He was formerly Professor in Palaeontology and a head of department in the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen. He is now Emeritus Professor and a former Principal of Van Mildert College at Durham University. Harper was President of the International Palaeontological Association and the Palaeontological Association and is currently Chair of the International Commission for Stratigraphy. His research has addressed some of the most fundamental developments in the history of life, for example the Cambrian Explosion, Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event and the End Ordovician mass extinction. These events occurred over 440 million years ago, yet their impact had profound consequences for the evolution of the modern marine realm. His research has been recognised by foreign memberships of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Royal Swedish Physiographic Society and an Einstein Professorship in the Chinese Academy of Sciences together with two honorary doctorates and the Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal from the European Geosciences Union.


The talk will commence at 18:30. The venue (upstairs at the Royal Cambrian Academy, behind Plas Mawr, Conwy, LL32 8AN) will be open from 18:00 for seasonal drinks and snacks.

Posted in Cluster Meetings, News, Talk Archive |

16th March 2023: The Z2 Haupt Dolomite Play of the UK MNSH, the final frontier of the UKCS

On Thursday 16th March we are pleased to have Pete Browning-Stamp, Principal Geoscientist at Horizon Energy, scheduled to talk on:
“The Z2 Haupt Dolomite Play of the UK MNSH, the final frontier of the UKCS”.
Posted in Cluster Meetings, Talk Archive |

16th February 2023: Biosteering the deepest and oldest hydrocarbon reservoirs

On Thursday 16th February, Wyn Hughes will present a talk titled “Biosteering the deepest and oldest hydrocarbon reservoirs”. The talk will be at the Royal Cambrian Academy (RCA), Conwy, starting at 18:30. The RCA will be open from 18:00 for light refrshments.
Posted in Cluster Meetings, Talk Archive |

16th November 2023: Talk by Dr. Peter Turner, The Late Triassic – Early Jurassic evaporites of the Berkine Basin

The Late Triassic – Early Jurassic evaporites of the Berkine Basin will be described. Time series analysis of gamma logs shows that astronomical forcing played a key role in their deposition. Long eccentricity cycles (~405kyr, ~50m) reflect lacustrine expansion and contraction, whereas precessional cycles (~20kyr, ~3m) reflect desiccation and halite deposition. These Saharan Platform basins bear much in common with other western Mediterranean evaporite basins. Many show the same overall pattern of sedimentation with increased sulphate deposition near the Tr-J boundary, possibly linked to the CAMP. In late Triassic times they formed a contiguous low-lying zone flanked by cratonic highlands. This zone spanned the Gondwana-Laurussia boundary immediately prior to the break-up of Pangea and Greater Adria formed the barrier between the basins and developing Neotethys to the east.

Posted in Talk Archive |

8th December 2022: The palaeontology of Arabia: from stromatolites, to the first land plants, to Homo sapiens out of Africa

8th December 2022: The palaeontology of Arabia: from stromatolites, to the first land plants, to Homo sapiens out of Africa

A talk by Prof Mike Stephenson

In this period of rapid change in climate and environments, scientists are looking for past changes in order to understand more about what may happen in the future.

The fossils in the rocks of Arabia are a unique archive of these changes. They extend from the Precambrian ‘snowball Earth’ of 600 million years ago, to the first land plants 400 million years ago, to dinosaurs 75 million years ago, and to fossils of  

Homo sapiens 85 thousand years ago. These fossils tell a story of climate change and evolution that is unrivalled. The talk will chart these changes explaining how they illustrate evolution and climate change and make us think differently about the world of today.

The talk will cover some of the key aspects of the geology and palaeontology of Arabia – how life developed through time and the role of one subcontinent in that story. The talk will bring together the many strands of fossil evolution and climate change focussing on Arabia as a melting pot and conduit in the development of life. The author, Prof Mike Stephenson is a palaeontologist with over 25 years’ experience, with three acclaimed books on the geosciences.

Posted in Cluster Meetings, Talk Archive |

17th November 2022: Ocean Data Collection: UsingMiniature Autonomous Sailboats

Posted in Cluster Meetings |

20th October 2022: Portland Cement: production and carbon emissions

On 20th October Arthur Harrison will give a talk on Portland Cement. The talk will commence at 18:30 in the RCA, Crown Lane, Conwy, LL32 8UB. Refreshmnents will be available from 18:00.
Posted in Cluster Meetings |