About Professor Simon Haslett

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Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Professor of Physical Geography and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Geology and landforms of the Mendip Hills

On Thursday 1st March 2012 I am giving a lecture at 2pm at the University of the Third Age (U3A) Mendip Hills Study Day at Draycott Village Hall, near Wells, Somerset. My lecture begins at 2pm not at 9.45am as advertised on the Wells U3A website.

Between 1994 and 2008, whilst I was lecturing in physical geography at Bath Spa University, I undertook research and taught students about the geology and landforms of the Mendip Hills and the surrounding area. During this time I occasionally wrote popular articles for the Yeo Valley Gazette and Mendip Life, later collecting these essays into a chapter on the Mendips in my book Somerset Landscapes: Geology and Landforms published in 2010.

The Mendip Hills are a fascinating upland area. The geology gives a good insight into the dynamics of the earth, with tectonic folding and volcanic activity, and also the nature of past tropical sea environments as indicated by fossils in the rocks. Also, climatic extremes of later geological episodes are evident from lithified desert sands to deposits laid down in the cold conditions of the ice age. The Mendips also boast some internationally famous landforms, including Cheddar Gorge and caves, such as Wookey Hole.

Coastal wetland (Somerset Levels, UK)
Photo: the Somerset Levels viewed from Nyland Hill, a Mendip outlier.

The talk will cover the aspects of geology and landforms that I have studied and written about, and will be illustrated by my own photographs and figures from the Somerset Landscapes book. I look forward to discussing this with delegates of the study day.

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