Chalk of the Northern Province: its regional context


a joint meeting of the Hull Geological Society

with the Yorkshire Geological Society and Hull University

10th to 13th September 2015

Report of the meeting by Mike Horne:-

After nearly two years of planning the Chalk Symposium too place on 10th to 13th September 2015. It was a joint meeting of the Yorkshire Geological Society, University of Hull Department of Geography and Earth Sciences and the Hull Geological Society.

Nineteen delegates attended the Thursday field trip travelling by coach. The trip was led by Paul Hildreth to four Lincolnshire Quarries. The first site was Grasby Quarry where we saw the top of the Ferriby Formation and the base of the Welton Formation. The Black Band Member is exposed here and weather material was cleared quickly in a couple of places to facilitate sampling and photography. Examples of Mytilloiides bivalves were found a few metres about the Black Band Member.

Grasby Quarry

Delegates were taken on a tour of Melton Ross Quarry and works on the coach, with a commentary by Tom from Singleton Birch Ltd. This was followed by a talk by Mark in the site office block about the history of the company and the lime production at the site.

At Burnham Lodge Quarry delegates were able to see the large tabular flints of the “Flint Maximum” in the Burnham Formation. The quarry flor was very overgrown with brambles and nettles.

The final site visited was Vale House Quarry where the Vale House Flints are exposed. Higher in the quarry is the Ulceby Marl and the Ulceby Oyster Bed.

Ulceby Quarry

In the evening there was an Icebreaker for full delegates in the Map Room of the Cohen Building at the University of Hull.

Mike Rogerson opened the Friday meeting by telling the delegates about the fire alarm procedures for the building. Welcoming speeches were then given by John Knight the President of the YGS, Mike Horne the Secretary of the HGS and Jeff Blackford the Head of the GEES. John chaired the rest of the Friday Meeting.

There were three themed sessions of lectures – Flints and Flint formation, Biostratigraphy of the Chalk and Engineering Geology of Chalk Sea Cliffs. The abstracts and full texts of some of these lectures are published on the HGS Website. About 35 people attended.

Chalk Symposium

The Symposium Dinner was held at the Station Hotel in Hull.

On Saturday morning there was a discussion session open to all delegates in the Map Room of the Cohen Building chaired by Simon Mitchell. The discussions covered the formation of flints, and their relationship with sponges and radiolarian; biostratigraphy and microfossils; the importance of good local observational skills and conservation of sites for future scientific use; the future use of cyclostratigraphy; the public understanding of our science and the publication of scientific papers.

Delegates were also able to view the following displays – Chalk fossils from France by Mathieu Deville de Periere, rare Turonian ammonites from Lincolnshire by John Green and Flints from Norfolk by Russell Yoemans. John also exhibited and escribed a painting of a reconstructed fossils of the Vale House Flints sequence.

John Green Ammonite

In the afternoon there were four keynote lectures. This session was chaired by John Knight and Mike Horne. The abstracts and full texts of these lectures will be published on the HGS Website. About 45 people attended the Saturday afternoon lectures.

Chalk Symposium

The final day of the symposium consisted of a field trip to the cliffs at Flamborough led by Mike Horne; eighteen delegates travelling by car and bicycle. At North Landing Mike described the geology and stratigraphy of the area and pointed out the paramudra. Carious flints and Thalassoinoides type flints were also examined, and the Ulceby Oyster Bed was found.

North Landing

Lunch was taken on the beach at Selwicks Bay. In this bay the junction of the Burnham and Flamborough formations is seen. Slump structures in the chalk beds of the Burnham Formation were examined and the faulting and folding admired.

Selwicks Bay

The final few hours of the Symposium were spent at Dane’s Dyke examining the cliffs for zonal fossils; examples of typical Inoceramid bivalves and plates of Marsupites were seen. Simon Mitchell showed delegates the beds of the Uintacrinus anglicus zone, though unfortunately no examples of the fossil were seen. A fresh landslip allowed the sampling of Quaternary sands and calcretes from higher in the cliff. To end the visit Rodger Connell and Mike Horne described the Quaternary deposits in the Danes Dyke valley and the ongoing research of the HGS Flamborough Quaternary Research Group.


List of registered delegates attending.

Haydon Bailey, Tony Benfield*, David Blyth Rodger Connell*, Matthieu Deville de Periere, Paul Dodsworth, Andrew Farrant, Malcolm Fry*, Derek Gobbett*, Felix Gradstein, John Green*, P Hardman, Malcolm Hart, Ian Heppenstall*, Mary Heppenstall*, Liam Herringshaw*, Paul Hildreth*, Stephen Holding*, B Holroyd, Mike Horne*, John Holt, Christopher Jeans, Andrew Jones, Graham Kings*, Molly Kirven*, Brian Kneller*, John Knight, David Leather, John Martin, Simon Mitchell, Rory Mortimore, Andrew Newell, Pete Rawson*,  Mark Woods and Russell Yeomans.


(* Member of the Hull Geological Society)


Copyright - Hull Geological Society 2015

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Copyright Hull Geological Society.


e-mail - m.j.horne @

updated 25th October 2015