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QRA 2015 Annual Discussion Meeting: The Quaternary Geology of the North Sea and Adjacent Areas

05 - 08 January 2015
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Organised by:
Quaternary Research Association
Our Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Rd, Edinburgh EH8 8AS
Event status:
Registration closes 15 Dec 2014

The North Sea has had a long and complex geological history with its present-day structural configuration largely being the result of rifting during the Jurassic–Early Cretaceous, followed by thermal cooling and subsidence. Since the middle Cenozoic, up to 3000m of Oligocene to Holocene sediment have accumulated in the central graben region of the North Sea, locally including more than 800m of Quaternary sediments. Preserved within this sedimentary record is the evidence for several ice sheets having advanced into the North Sea at different stages during the Quaternary, contributing to the periodic erosion and infill of this sedimentary basin.

However, the traditional three-fold view of its Pleistocene glacial history (derived largely from off-shore tunnel valley evidence) has recently come under scrutiny and there is now a growing body of evidence that there may have been many more glacial episodes.

The Edinburgh 2015 Quaternary Research Association (QRA) annual discussion meeting aims to bring together scientists working in the North Sea and surrounding areas. It will provide an ideal forum in which to exchange views and information, and discuss new ideas regarding the Quaternary evolution of the North Sea basin on a variety of time scales, its glacial and interglacial successions, its archaeological record of human occupation, and the recent advances in the mapping of marine habitats and their conservation.

Proposed sessions

We have planned a broad range of session topics that represents the range of interests of the members of the QRA. These include:

  • Quaternary geology of the North Sea - general session;
  • Tunnel valleys and subglacial to ice-margin drainage systems; 
  • Ice sheet limits and dynamics within the North Sea region;
  • Pleistocene stratigraphy and  palaeoenvironments; 
  • Quaternary geology of the onshore areas surrounding the North Sea; 
  • Post-glacial to Holocene evolution and sedimentation within the North Sea basin; 
  • Archaeology and human occupation; 
  • Mapping of marine habitats and marine conservation;
  • Off-shore and coastal geohazards and resources;
  • Poster session (open).

Post-conference workshops

These are free to attend and will be held (subject to demand) at the British Geological Survey’s offices in Edinburgh on Friday 9 January.

  1. Micromorphology and analysis of glacigenic sediments (led by Dr Emrys Phillips and Dr Simon Carr);
  2. 3D seismic geomorphology (led by Dr Mads Huuse and Dr Margaret Stewart); 
  3. Analysis and interpretation of surface multibeam data (led by Dr Carol Cotterill and TBC); 
  4. Logging and analysis of marine core (TBC)

Call for Abstracts

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday 31 October 2014.
For details please download the form from the box to the right.

Organising Committee

  • Emrys Phillips (British Geological Survey);
  • Margaret Stewart (British Geological Survey);
  • Carol Cotterill (British Geological Survey);
  • Mads Huuse (Manchester University);
  • David Hodgson (University of Leeds);
  • Simon Carr (Queen Mary University of London)

Further Information


Please register online or by post by downloading the registration form from the box to the right. Registrations close 15 Dec 2014.


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