One of the things that drew me to study Geology are the plentiful opportunities it provides to travel. My start to second year began on the 9th September when we travelled to Almeria, Spain for a week. This blog will briefly document my trip. Unfortunately, I have far too much to say, but I’ll try and keep it concise!
Day 1 – We arrived at Urro Field Centre. It was dark when we arrived at there, but it was noticeably very pretty and quiet. It was lovely to arrive to a warm meal and place that seemed more like a hotel than a field centre after 11 hours of travel.
Day 2 – When the sun rose next morning the first evident thing noticed was the fact we were in a desert. The place was baron, there was nothing for miles. Temperatures throughout the week varied between 20-45°C, this made working conditions more challenging. We looked at carbonate sedimentary sequencing, conglomeratic unconformities and a large phyllite rock unit. It was quite a gentle introduction back into analysis of rocks, and identifying structures after a long summer holiday.
Day 3 – Our group of 34 students were split in two equal groups. The nicest thing about university is that everybody is friends with everybody, so it didn’t matter who you worked with. On this day we did Cairn Mapping project in Tabernas Basin. We set a 50x50m square and mapped basic lithology, ignoring any topographic changes. This was challenging due to the amount of minor faults but working in groups was fun, and the lecturers were supportive if we needed any help.
Day 4 – This was by far the hottest day we had, and with being still situated in Tabernas basin, there was very very little shade. We did a sketch log of a about a 100m stretch, noting any major visible changes in rock type and trying to explain how the sequence of rocks formed. We also did a sedimentary log of a turbidity sequence. It became apparent that drinking ample water was an necessity!!
Day 5 – We spent the morning near Fort Bravo, it was beautiful. The heat cooled down slightly, and we did a sketch cross section. It was a relaxed exercise and very rewarding, everyone had completed a cross section but all had slightly different versions. It lead to a lot of discussion! In the afternoon we visited Solpalmo where we saw direct evidence for the Carboneras Fault, and then visited the beach and had ice creams.
Day 6 – I think this day was probably may favourite day of all. We found garnets and spent a log time sieving through sediment to try and find some to take home!!! We spent the day discovering why igneous rocks can contain garnets and learning about bioherms. We arrived at a caldera shaped area and visited different stations to talk to lectures and discover why the area was as it was. Later that afternoon we visited a village called Nijar, and all had cafe and coffee.
Day 7 – Our final full day in the field was spent as a fairly relaxed yet interesting day. We visited a series of localities, and even found ourselves an ophiolite! We had lunch overlooking an amazing view and even took a group photo! In the evening we then summarised all the work we had done over the week, giving a brief description of how each locality was interlinked with the geology of overall Almeria.
Each night there ended in a trip to the local bar attached to our field centre and a game or two of pool. I can’t tell you how much fun we all had.
See you next time!