Field course to south-west Wales: Geological Record of Environmental Change

Geology Field course Twenty-two students taking level two module GEL201, Geological Record of Environmental Change as part of their degree schemes in Geography or Physical Earth Science at Swansea University spent 3 days studying rock successions in south-west Wales in early March.  Based at Manorbier Youth Hostel, their focus was the interpretation of river deposits in the Old Red Sandstone, which accumulated in a semi-desert environment some 400 million years ago.  As well as developing their geological fieldwork skills, they examined rock successions representing river channel and floodplain deposits, fossil soils, and volcanic ash layers.  The field course allows students to put into practice what they have studied in lectures about interpreting the environments in which sedimentary deposits formed.  Fieldwork on the Saturday finished off with a visit to the spectacular Green Bridge of Wales and Elegug Stacks near Castlemartin on the south Pembrokeshire coast.  The group was led by lecturers Geraint Owen and Kath Ficken (Geography) and accompanied by final-year student Jeremy Suter and visiting Brazilian postgraduate student, Mauricio Guerreiro, who is studying the characteristics of river systems that existed before the evolution of land plants.