Meeting on the 28 October 2009 at Burlington House


14.00 – 14.30
Introduction to the evidence, its implications, the need for this research project and the production of an Atlas for the London Basin (MH de Freitas)

14.30 – 15.15
The Basement, its post Palaeozoic history and neotectonics (JW Cosgrove)

15.15 – 16.00
Chalk (RN Mortimore)

16.00 – 16.30
Tea & Biscuits

16.30 – 17.15
Palaeocene – Eocene (JA Skipper & C King)

17.15 – 18.15
Quaternary (P Gibbard, U Lawrence & D Aldiss)

18.15 – 18.25

18.25 – 19.10
Implications for London’s future (K Royse)

19.00 – 20.00
Discussion with wine and nibbles


Prof. Cosgrove outlined the origins and architecture of the basement below London, what it is likely to do when stressed in various directions, the implications of this for basin development, and its repercussions not only for geotechnics but for hydrogeology, petroleum exploration and neotectonics of the region.

Prof. Mortimore gave examples of crustal movement and basin development in the region as seen through the Chalk, not only in London but elsewhere, and alternative mechanisms for basin development as indicated by syn-sedimentary tectonics, the relevance of missing strata on the sub-Palaeocene surface and the impact of inversion on fracturing within the Chalk, so illustrating the sorts of information the Atlas (which will be the publication of the Forum’s work) will bring to its users e.g. lithofacies relationships with geophysical signatures.

Dr Skipper concentrated on snap-shots from various case histories within the region illustrating the risks that can be avoided by advances in geological understanding and communication with engineers which have come from codifying the descriptions for the Lambeth Gp., and so illustrating the progress that can be made by looking at the London Basin in an holistic way, geologically, for the first time, and the sort of output that might be expected from the Atlas.

Dr King considered practical aspects of the links between lithofacies and geological environment given the lateral consistency of the horizons, and how the geologically holistic approach of the LBF is capable of shedding light on such problems as the nature and location of the Harwich Formation.

Dr Lawrence considered some of the many processes that were at work during the Quaternary, with reference to the Clay with Flints story and its relationship with the underlying Chalk, and Chalk structure, and thus the extent, in time, of the influence basement movement has had upon the comparatively recent events within the region.

Prof Gibbard continued this theme with reference to the fluvio-glacial deposits of the Thames, mentioning the Palaeolithic artefacts and importance of archaeology in unravelling these deposits, and the need to recognise the presence and effects of neotectonics, especially that instigated by glacial advances and retreats.

Dr Aldiss took up the theme of neotectonics by illustrating the evidence for Holocene movements as measured from recently completed satellite interrogation of land levels.

Dr Royse brought the whole project up to the present by showing how the findings from this project can be focussed onto what is happening now and its implications for planning, development and construction of major infra-structure, and the links between this research and long term policies concerning urban growth and sustainable engineering within the region.

Dr de Freitas explained the need for sponsors and sponsorship, asked for sponsors to make themselves known and connect the audience as quickly as possible with their wine and nibbles, where Discussion and Networking continued.

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