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William Smith Meeting 2016 - Glaciated Margins: The Sedimentary & Geophysical Archive

02 - 03 June 2016
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Event type:
Conference, Lecture, Course, Workshop, Field trip
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, Marine Studies Group, Energy Group
The Geological Society, Burlington House
Event status:

Unravelling evidence for the growth and recessional behaviour of ice sheets on continental margins has major implications for characterising the cryosphere in the past, present and future.  Glaciated margins provide unique archives of past ice mass change on timescales that cannot be captured by observations of the cryosphere today.

They also serve as analogues for modern-day glacial depositional environments, and are integral to solving major problems such as the magnitude of ancient glaciations, the location of prolific glaciogenic hydrocarbon reservoir deposits and the distribution of groundwater aquifers.

We sought to attract scientists from multiple disciplines - geophysicists, sedimentologists, glaciologists, geologists and geographers - with an interest in tackling these issues.

Conference Central Themes

  • The Arctic and the Northern Hemisphere
  • Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere
  • The Deep Time Archive
  • Resource potential: case studies and dilemmas

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Chris Clark (University of Sheffield)
  • Professor Jonathan Craig (ENI)
  • Professor Julian Dowdeswell (SPRI)
  • Professor Carlota Escutia (Granada)

Field trip    

WS16 fieldtrip

Date: 4 - 5 June 2016

There was a post-conference field trip to study classic Quaternary glacitectonites of Norfolk. The 2 day trip explored the subglacial to proglacial evolution of a Pleistocene sediment assemblage along the North Norfolk coast. It encompassed a broad range of primary and secondary glacial deposits, which in places undergone pervasive glaciotectonic deformation. 

The trip aimed to familiarise participants with:
  • The late Quaternary history of the North Norfolk coast
  • The diverse styles of sedimentation along the eastern margin of the BIIS
  • The influence of subglacial through proglacial deformation on the sediment pile                                             
  •  How archetypal and exceptionally well exposed Quaternary sedimentary and deformation may structures compare to the ancient record

William Smith Lecture

The 2016 William Smith lecture was given by Professor Julian Dowdeswell (University Cambridge) on 2 June at 5.15pm.


  • Dan Le Heron (Royal Holloway University)
  • Kelly Hogan (BAS, Cambridge)
  • Marie Busfield (Aberystwyth University)
  • Ali Graham (University of Exeter)
  • Wim Kouwe (Cairn Energy)
  • Mads Huuse (University of Manchester)
  • Emrys Phillips (British Geological Survey)

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