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2020: The Geological Society’s Year of Life

Earth is, perhaps, unique in its capacity to host life. The origin of life is among the most fundamental of scientific questions and the source of endless fascination for the public and scientists alike. The evolution and diversity of life on our planet through geological time is inextricably linked with Earth processes such as climate, plate tectonics and the development of a habitable surface environment. Planetary catastrophes such as bolide impacts and flood basalts have caused mass extinctions several times in our geological past.

The linkages between the biosphere and geosphere, both through geological time and in the present day, are clear. Hydrogen produced by serpentinisation on the seafloor, for example, provides ‘fuel’ for bacteria, sustaining a vast and diverse ecosystem of microbial life. The temperature limits to such life, deep in the crust and in seafloor sediments, are only now beginning to be understood.

Please see below some carefully selected content linked to the Year of Life.


SP450 The Permian Timescale


SP455 New Perspectives on Pterosaur Palaeobiology


  SP448 Earth System Evolution and Early Life: 
A Celebration of the Work of Martin Brasier

  Trilobites of the British Isles

MPTRBI Trilobites of the British Isles


  MPTCL Terrestrial Conservation Lagerstätten: 
Windows into the Evolution of Life on Land