Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Published by Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Online ISSN: 1755-6929
Publications
Article
Reservoir sedimentation provides a valuable source of data on sediment flux. This paper assesses the record of sedimentation in the Baldernock Mill dam, a small mill dam in western Scotland. That record is based on the volume of sediment in the dam, and the detailed analysis of a continuously sampled stratigraphic section through the impounded sediment, with a chronology for mill dam construction and subsequent breaching based on historical maps and the impounded sediment’s content of 137Cs and lead isotopes. The mill dam was constructed in c. 1820, was initially partially breached in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century and then fully breached by about the mid 1920s. The dam trapped relatively low volumes of sediment and the correspondingly low rate of sediment flux indicated by the volume of impounded sediment reflects the dam’s very low trap efficiency. The basal Unit 1 in the impounded sediments was deposited between dam construction and the initial breaching of the wall. The unit consists of repeated ‘triplets’ of a basal sand (flood deposit) grading upwards into a mud deposit (post-flood deposition), which is in turn overlain by an organic-rich layer of leaves and twigs (the subsequent autumn leaf fall). Unit 2 is similar to Unit 1 but lacks the organic layer, indicating the lack of ongoing standing water to trap the autumn leaf fall, and Unit 3 was deposited after full breaching of the wall. Mill dams in Scotland generally impound small steep bedrock channels – the latter reflecting a strong glacial legacy in Scotland – and are only small structures designed to ensure water for mills during dry periods in a climate of otherwise generally moderate to high and reliable rainfall. The small sizes of these dams and their low wall heights mean that they trap relatively low volumes of sediment that have minimal to minor downstream impacts if the dams fail.
 
Nitrogen content and nitrogen-isotope composition, and C/N ratio of guano the Makangit Cave section. C/N ratio has been corrected for the presence of graphitic carbon in the samples.  
Abundance of components considered lithogenic and immobile (graphite, Si, Zr) as well as Ca and S, the major components of gypsum in the oxidised upper section of the guano section at Makangit Cave.  
dates obtained on samples from the guano profile at Makangit Cave. The sample identifier is the depth interval from which the sample was collected. % graphite is the percentage of total carbon in the sample that is derived from graphite. Raw dates are presented in uncalibrated years BP (1 SD); corrected dates have been calculated as described in the text
Article
We present the first record of Holocene and Pleistocene environmental change derived from the chemical and stable-isotope composition of a tropical cave guano sequence from Makangit Cave in northern Palawan (Philippines). The 180 cm sequence of guano, derived predominantly from insectivorous bats and birds, consists of two distinct units. An upper section of reddish-brown oxidised guano to 110 cm was deposited since the mid-Holocene while a lower section of black, reduced guano was deposited through the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to >30 000 BP. Carbon-isotope (δ<sup>13</sup>C) values in guano deposited during the LGM are as high as −13·5‰ indicating that a C4-dominated grassland existed in the area around the cave at this time. Guano δ<sup>13</sup>C values of − 25‰ to − 28‰ suggest that this open vegetation was replaced by C3-dominated closed tropical forest, similar to that of the present, by the mid-Holocene. The results suggest that the climate of northern Palawan was substantially drier at the LGM than is currently the case.
 
Article
The classic late Tournaisian plant-bearing locality at Oxroad Bay was investigated by detailed field mapping, lithological logging, studies of clast orientation, this-section petrography and analyses of bulk geochemistry. The lithologically and structurally complex, c.45m-thick includes eight plant-bearing exposures (each consisting of up to 16 phytofossiliferous horizons) that have yielded 43 anatomically-preserved organ-species and 19 adpressed organ-species. All floral assemblages are allochthonous s.l. and demonstrate a wide range of preservation states. They occur in five successive facies (braided flood-plain, shallow volcanigenic lacustrine, terrrestrial mass-flow/base-surge, shallow biogenic lacustrine, dominantly terrestrial reworked ashes) that reflect increasing influence of several basaltic tuff-ring volcanoes on an ocean-marginal lowland bordering the Southern Upland Massif. The variable local climate reflected proximity to the proto-North Sea and eruptive seeding of the atmosphere with ash particles. Base-surges, seismically initiated mass-flows and volcanically-induced wildfires restricted the development of mature soils and of edaphic climax communities. These disturbances created a sequence of mosaic palaeocatenas that supported a wide range of sub-communities at any one moment in time. At least some of the relatively k-selected species that occupied the preceding, fluvially dominated terrain were extirpated by the persistent volcanism, yielding to immigrants that were better pre-adapted to the unstable environment. Low levels of competition allowed non-adaptive n-selection, enhancing the establishment potential of evolutionary innovations.
 
(A) Plankton net (being towed from right to left), to match Figure 6B, each cone should be rotated almost 90( in opposite directions; (B) Flume experiment with empty valves of Orthospirifer iowensis, anterior zenithal view, ambient flow from top to bottom, hatched arrow inhalant, blank arrows exhalant currents observed (from Wallace & Ager 1966); (C) Professor Bøggild drinking beer defying the law of gravity (from Teichert 1976).  
Spinocyrtia clintoni, encrusted in candelabrum fashion by Aulocystis commensalis, from the Devonian Norway Point Fm of Michigan, USA. (A) dorsal and (B) lateral views of the same specimen; (C) (D) anterior zenithal views of two other specimens, in different stages of ontogenetic (host) and astogenetic (guest) development. Hatched arrows inhalant, blank arrows exhalant currents inferred. (C) enlarged by one third, relative to the rest; All adapted from Pitrat & Rogers 1978.  
Paraspirifer bownockeri, with a small spiriferoid (reportedly 'Mediospirifer audaculus') attached on top of its ventral sulcus, from the Devonian Silica Fm of Ohio, USA. (A) anterior zenithal view and (B) close up thereof (enlarged two and a half times). Hatched arrows inhalant, blank arrows exhalant currents inferred, notice how they are reiterated in a self similar fashion at different scales (adapted from Sparks et al. 1980).
(A)–(C) Desquamatia subzonata, infested by Diorygma atrypophilia, from Devonian shales of the Holy Cross Mts., Poland: (A) ventral valve interior; (B) cross section of shell; (C) stylised oblique longitudinal section of shell. (D)–(F) Spinella buchanensis, infested by Burrinjuckia spiriferidophilia, from Devonian limestones of Victoria, Australia: (D) dorsal valve interior; (E) stylised dorsal interior; (F) cut-away lateral view of shell. Hatched arrows inhalant, blank arrows exhalant currents inferred, divergent dashes denote conjectural feeding organ of guest, not to same scale. (A)–(B) from Biernat 1961; (C) adapted from Rudwick 1970; (D)–(F) from Chatterton 1975.  
Feeding current systems according to model proposed herein: (A) an atrypide (based on Peratos arrectus) (adapted from Williams et al. 2002); (B) a spiriferide (based on Gypospirifer condor), notice the anterior curvature of the primary lamellae resulting in a widening space between the bases of spiral cones (adapted from Kozłowski 1914); (C) an athyridide (based on Hustedia narinosa) (adapted from Cooper & Grant 1976). Hatched arrows inhalant, blank arrows exhalant currents inferred, not to same scale.
Article
Spire-bearing brachiopods formally comprise four different rhynchonelliform orders. A calcified spiral brachidium (presumably supporting a spirolophe when alive) and variable median fold and sulcus (probably aiding separation of incurrent from excurrent flows) are peculiar characteristics they all share. Inferences regarding feeding current systems for these extinct taxa have long remained controversial. Two rival models (the Williams–Ager model and the Rudwick–Vogel model) have been developed, each of which has gained supporters as well as critics over the years. In this present paper they are both contrasted and reassessed on the basis of available evidence, together with a new approach that combines: (a) a morpho-functional analysis applying the plankton net as a suitable seston-collecting paradigm; (b) a review of actualistic data showing that all extant spirolophes are functionally inhalant (irrespective of water entering the valves laterally or not); (c) an evaluation of known outcomes from flume experiments yielding consistent empirical results where gaping shells are oriented transversally and dorsally upcurrent; and (d) a reappraisal of the distributions of certain epizoobionts and endosymbionts revealing compatible patterns. The evidence thus accumulated supports the main conclusion that, in most groups (with laterally tapering spiralia), the inhalant current was located medially with the exhalant currents on either side; only in atrypides (with centrally to dorsally tapering spiralia) does the reverse situation appear to have occurred.
 
Article
Conventional rock classification diagrams do not distinguish the variety of peraluminous rock series. Moreover, peraluminous granite types have not been clearly discriminated in recent revisions. The study of several peraluminous series in different intracontinental orogenic belts reveals that four distinct groups can be defined. Using an A-B diagram, these four groups are: (1) highly peraluminous granitoids ( hP ) characterised by high A values and typified by an increase in peraluminosity toward the most mafic varieties; (2) moderately peraluminous granitoids ( mP ) which occupy the intermediate field and generally show increasing peraluminosity towards the most felsic varieties; (3) low peraluminous granitoids ( IP ) which plot in the lowest part of the peraluminous field defining negative slope trends; (4) highly felsic peraluminous granites ( fP ) with poorly defined variation trends. In intracontinental orogenic belts, the genesis of peraluminous granitic series is favoured by the abundance of fertile crustal protoliths, mainly metapelites, metaigneous rocks and metagreywackes. The difficulty of attaining temperatures in excess of 950°C at lower crustal levels during the tectonothermal evolution of thickened crust, inhibits the partial melting of more basic sources. Although the physical parameters of the melting process influence their chemical and mineralogical characteristics, source rock composition ultimately determines the degree of peraluminosity of the granitic series.
 
Article
Anatomically preserved plants are recorded from calcareous nodules and included Lepidodendron calamopsoides Long which demonstrate for the first time the presence of anisotomous branching, in addition to the normal isotomous branching and details of the stele and cortex seen in longitudinal section. The nodules also contain Setispora subpaleocristatus (Alvin) Spinner and Lagenicula crassiaculeata Zernd megaspores. There is an abundant compression flora. Compressions and petrifactions of Tristichia ovensi Long may not represent the same plant and may not be connected to Stamnostoma huttonense Long. We suggest that the compressions of T. ovensi were of a pteridospermous plant with unlaminated fronds bearing small uncupulate seeds and lateral clusters of microsporangiate organs of a new type.
 
Article
The massive pyrite-pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite-sphalerite deposit of Outokumpu, comprising the Keretti and Vuonos orebodies, is a deformed and metamorphosed strata-bound mass associated with mineralised stockworks. Mobilisation of much of the ore followed formation of large recumbent isoclinal folds that are the major structures of the surrounding rocks and associated with the modification of originally flat saucer-shaped ore lenses into elongate ruler-shaped masses. Further modification of shape took place at the mobilisation stage with much of the pyrrhotitic ore, particularly, now occupying the thickest parts of the orebodies in the form of breccia or microbreccia. In many parts gross original characters still exist and the pyritic and pyrrhotitic constituents of the ore have survived as separate entities while locally the pyritic ore retains pre-deformational characteristics and consistent stratigraphic position within a thin horizon. Both ore and country rocks show evidence of extensive polyphase deformation with the effects of six fold phases shown in the ore. Mineral assemblages in the country rocks indicate a middle amphibolite facies peak of metamorphism. The serpentinite-black schist-carbonate-quartzite rock assemblage, with which the ore is associated, was tectonically incorporated within the regionally extensive mica schist by even earlier subhorizontal thrusting. This is related to the movement of a thrust nappe with the interdigitation of an ocean-floor ophiolite assemblage and flysch deposited during ocean closure associated with Svecokarelian tectonism. The original formation of the Keretti and Vuonos sulphide masses took place in a marine exhalative environment with a pyritic layer overlying a pyrrhotitic layer in each of the two c. 4 km diameter irregularly oval-shaped depressions whose centres were c. 8 km apart. The mineralised stockwork below each mass represents the upper parts of the conduit for metalbearing fluids in a convective system.
 
Article
Trace element abundances in garnet from a polyphase migmatite were measured by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) in order to identify some of the effective variables on the trace element distribution between garnet and melanosome or leucosome. In general, garnet is zoned with respect to REE, in which garnet cores are enriched by a factor of 2–3 relative to the rims. For an inclusion-rich garnet from the melanosome, equilibrium distribution following a simple Rayleigh fractionation is responsible for the decreasing concentrations in REE from core to rim. Inclusion-poor garnet from the same melanosome located in the vicinity of the leucosomes shows distinct enrichment and depletion patterns for REE from core to rim. These features suggest disequilibrium between garnet and the host rock which, in this case, could have been an in-situ derived melt. This would probably indicate a period of open-system behaviour at a time when the garnet, originally nucleated in the metamorphic environment reacted with the melt. In addition, non-gradual variation in trace element abundances between core and rim may suggest variable garnet growth rates. Inclusion-free garnet from the leucosome, interpreted to have crystallised in the presence of a melt, has a small core with high REE abundances and a broad rim with lower REE abundances. Here, crystal-liquid diffusion-controlled partitioning is a likely process to explain the trace element variation.
 
Article
Several granites and basement gneisses along the southern margin of the Siberian Craton were sampled to obtain precise age constrains and compositional isotopic data. The analysed granite plutons are interpreted to have been emplaced between 1880 and 1850 Ma, and are related to Palaeoproterozoic collisional and post-collisional events. Pb-Pb whole data of a granulite (1884 ± 26 Ma) and a two mica granite (1821 ± 29 Ma) constrain these U-Pb single zircon ages. Sr, Nd and Pb-Pb isotope data reveal the crustal origin of the investigated rocks and the reworking of Archaean material. Nevertheless, a minor influence of a mantle component is still visible in the Pb isotopes. Geodynamically, the magmatic and metamorphic ages in the Kitoy area are linked to several Early Proterozoic events along the southern margin of the Siberian Craton. Since these events are all older than the assembly of Rodinia (about 1·4 Ga ago) the collisional processes are linked to the consolidation of the Siberian Craton itself in Early Proterozoic times.
 
Article
During experiments conducted within the vent pool of Medusa Geyser, Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, USA, amorphous opaline silica (opal-A) was deposited on/within plant tissues within 30 days of immersion. Initially, deposition created inter/intra-cellular films which lined cell walls plus intercellular colloid suspensions (sols) of opal-A nano/microspheres. By 330 days, opal-A deposition created a robust external and internal matrix that stabilised tissues against collapse and replicated plant structure. Opal-A films increased to micron-order thicknesses and intracellular sols were created. Systematic variation of opal-A fabric between tissues comprising living/dead cells at the time of deposition indicate that cell function, architecture and shape influence fabric development. Heterogeneity of opal-A fabric within adjacent cells of similar structure/function indicates spatially/temporally fluctuating physicochemical conditions and the presence of intraorganic microenvironments. Early deposition of opal-A films suggests a period of low silica supersaturation and slow opal-A deposition. In contrast, intracellular sols suggest high levels of supersaturation, and rapid opal-A deposition. Shell-like microsphere growth suggests cyclic variation of silica supersaturation, and alternations between rapid and slower opal-A deposition. Microsphere growth to the upper limit of colloidal stability and colloidal crystal structures indicate prolonged sol stability, whilst floc-like microsphere networks indicate localised sol instabi
 
Article
Isotope ratios of elements such as Sr, Nd, Pb and Hf can be used as tracers of magmatic sources and processes. Analytical capabilities have evolved so that isotope ratios can now be analysed in situ , and isotopic tracers can therefore be used within single minerals to track the changing magmatic environment in which a given mineral grew. This contribution shows that Sr isotope ratios in feldspars that make up plutonic rocks will typically preserve initial isotopic variations, provided precise and accurate age corrections can be applied. Variations in initial isotope ratio can give a core-to-rim record of magmatic evolution and can be used to diagnose open system events such as contamination and magma recharge and mixing. New single grain Sr isotope data are presented from the Dais Intrusion, Antarctica, which reflect an open system origin for the crystals. The crystal cargo appears to be aggregated and assembled during transport and emplacement. This model, as opposed to a magma body crystallising post emplacement, may be more applicable to plutonic rocks in general, and is testable using the in situ isotopic determination methods described here.
 
Article
New U/Pb results by cathodoluminescence-controlled single zircon dating of rocks from the High Tatra Mountains (Slovakia) constrain ages for the protolith at 2Ga for the granitoids and 3 Ga for the Koncistá migmatite. Concordant single zircon ages date the intrusion of the migmatite precursor at 3567 Ma and the migmatisation at 332 ± 5 Ma. The intrusion of this precursor corresponds with the major granite intrusion in the Western Tatra Mountains. The geodynamic scenario at this time is described as slab detachment of subducted oceanic crust at the active continental margin of Gondwana. The resulting upwelling of asthenospheric mantle brought enough heat for the anatexis of old metasediments and the production of new H- to S-type granites. High Tatra diorites have an intrusion age of 341 ± 5 Ma, constrained by a concordant single zircon age. This age marks the beginning of the Variscan collision of the two convergent continents Laurasia and Gondwana. The intrusion of granites in the High Tatra was confirmed by concordant data at 314 ± 4 Ma, documenting the final stage of the Variscan continent collision.
 
Article
The essential character of all tabular aids to computation is, that the results of many operations are recorded in some systematic way for easy reference, and that thereby the computer is spared the toil of obtaining these results for himself. In many cases this constitutes almost the whole advantage of the table. Thus when, instead of extracting the cube root of some number, we take it from a printed book, we are merely using another's labour. The gain to the calculating community is, that the oft-repeated extraction of the same root is avoided. We also gain by the facility of systematic calculation; the labour of computing a series of successive results being in general only a small fraction of that which would have attended the same work performed in a desultory manner.
 
Article
Corrigendum to “The beetle (Coleoptera) fauna of the Insect Limestone (late Eocene), Isle of Wight, southern England” [Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh110, 405–92, 2019] - Volume 110 Issue 3-4 - Alexander G. KIREJTSHUK, Alexander G. PONOMARENKO, Andrey S. KUROCHKIN, Anatoly V. ALEXEEV, Vadim G. GRATSHEV, Alexey Yu. SOLODOVNIKOV, Frank-Thorsten KRELL, Carmen SORIANO
 
Article
1. When I found that the interesting meteorological register of Mr Adie, which is well fitted to throw light upon the climate of Edinburgh, and of Scotland generally, was deficient of the important period of nearly sixteen years, from 1805 to 1820, I set on foot inquiries as to the existence of any other register of the thermometer which might approximately supply the defect. After some unsuccessful attempts, my attention was directed by Professor Dove's useful temperature tables to a register of the thermometer kept by the Rev. Mr Fergus of Dunfermline, of which the monthly means, from 1805 to 1824, are given in the “Edinburgh Philosophical Journal,” vol. xiii. Though the distance of Dunfermline from Edinburgh is thirteen miles in a right line, and though it occupies the opposite slope of the valley of the Forth, not far from the Ochil Hills, yet a slight comparison of the observations showed a very remarkable coincidence in its climate with that of Edinburgh, not only as regards the mean annual temperature, but also in the distribution of temperature throughout the year. I therefore made an effort to obtain the original register from which the results published in the “Edinburgh Philosophical Journal” were derived; and through the kindness, in the first instance, of Mr David Laing of the Signet Library, I was brought into communication with the Rev. John Fergus of Bower, near Wick, in Caithness, son of the Dunfermline observer, who most kindly placed in my hands his father's original register of the barometer, thermometer, and weather at Dunfermline, extending from 1799 to the time of his death in 1837, all made with one instrument, and at the same hour daily (9 a.m.), with very remarkable regularity.
 
Article
The two Comets which are the subject of this communication were discovered at Paramatta; the first by Mr Rumker, and the second by our countryman Mr Dunlop. The elements of both have been calculated from the observations of Mr Rumker and Mr Dunlop, by Mr George Innes, Aberdeen, and Mr James Gordon, A. M.
 
Article
Having already published in the Transactions a detailed report on the Hourly Meteorological Register kept at Leith Fort, at the expense of the Society, during the years 1824 and 1825, it is unnecessary to enter into any recapitulation respecting the origin and history of this class of observations. The singular and unexpected results obtained from these Registers, and the rapid approximation to general laws which some of these results exhibited, attached a great interest to the observations of future years; and it is satisfactory to find that the results for the two following years of 1826 and 1827 are almost perfectly coincident with those for 1824 and 1825, not only in their general relations, but even in their numerical laws.
 
Article
Helius spiralensis sp. nov., is a very peculiar species of the genus Helius (Diptera: Limoniidae), with a characteristic morphology of hypopygium not found in other representatives of this genus. This is the second Helius species described from Early Cretaceous Álava amber (Spain), and one of the oldest representatives of the genus.
 
Article
A new species of the genus Dicranomyia Stephens, 1829 (Diptera: Limoniidae) from Baltic amber is characterised, illustrated and described. This finding represents the second fossil of the subgenus Melanolimonia . The morphological features of the new species and the morphology comparison with its closest fossil relatives are discussed.
 
Article
In the month of November 1830, a small portion of a magnificent fossil stem was discovered in the quarry of Craigleith, in this vicinity, and more and more of it was brought into view as the working of the quarry proceeded. In December following, I communicated to the Natural History Society of Northumberland a description of that part of the petrifaction which had then been uncovered. This description will appear in their Transactions. At that period a considerable part of the stem had been brought into view, and since that time the remaining portion, and the roots, have been exposed.
 
Article
The early stages in ontogenetic development are described in the co-occurring Sphaerophthalmus alatus (Boeck, 1838) and Ctenopyge ( Mesoctenopyge ) tumida Westergård, 1922, using fragmentary but otherwise well-preserved material from Bornholm, Denmark. The former species is a senior synonym of Ctenopyge ( Eoctenopyge ) angusta Westergård, 1922, as has been recently proposed, but the early stages of S. alatus from Bornholm are appreciably more spiny than those found of the same species in other places in Scandinavia, and spinosity is retained until later in development. Increasing convexity with development and other morphological changes are noted. Pygidia were previously unknown in C. ( M. ) tumida. Here, they are represented by early pygidia. These are shield-shaped, with a very spiny margin and a strong axial spine. The distinction between Sphaerophthalmus and Ctenopyge is discussed.
 
Article
A revision of the Carboniferous lungfish genus Ctenodus is undertaken. Ctenodus is the longest-surviving genus of lungfish from the Carboniferous, and is the only one to cross the Lower–Upper Carboniferous boundary. Five species span the period, with species correlated to stage. Species are distinguished by differences in tooth plate morphology. Ridge number increases from the Tournaisian to the Moscovian, and the length to width ratio decreases. A new, almost complete articulated individual of C. interruptus allows identification of this species from pterygoid tooth plates and other characteristics. These, and new features of the postcranial skeleton, are described for the first time. Ctenodus retains primitive features of the skull roof, such as a pair of C-bones and retention of a D-bone; its contemporaries Conchopoma, Sagenodus and Straitonia show the derived condition of these features. Ctenodus retains primitive features of the lepidotrichia, which are distally segmented and bifurcated. However, it also shows the derived condition of the tail region in having a combined first and second dorsal fin: whether there was a separate caudal fin remains unknown.
 
Article
Since the publication of my “Observations on the Polarisation of the Atmosphere,” a long and elaborate Memoir on the same subject, by Dr R. Rubenson, has appeared in the Acts of the Royal Society of Sciences of Upsal. The observations which it contains were made with the finest instruments, and with a degree of accuracy which had not been attempted by previous observers. They were begun at Upsal in 1859, and carried on at Rome between the 6th of June and the 5th of August 1861, at Segni in the Campagna, between the 6th and the 27th of August 1861, and at Rome from the 5th of October 1861 to the 27th of July 1862.
 
Article
Eclipses are still, as they have ever been, very important phenomena for the astronomical observer; partly on account of the crucial test which they afford for the examination of the truth of the theory and calculation of the motions, real and apparent, of the Sun and Moon, partly also for the special opportunities which they furnish of inquiring into some of the arcana of the physical characteristics of those bodies. For the former purpose, a partial eclipse will serve almost as well as a total one; while the continued improvement of the observation of meridian passages is now raising these daily measures fully to the importance of the other occasional phenomena, as a test of the theory. But for inquiry into the physics of the Sun, a perfectly total eclipse of that body is necessary; revelations may then happily be procured, which no observation of any other phenomena at any other time, can hope to afford any suspicion of.
 
Article
The excursion described in the following pages was planned by Dr Macpherson, Inspector-General of Hospitals, and myself, with a view to explore the Southern Range of the Anamalai (i.e. Elephant Hills), in the district of Coimbatore, which are sparingly laid down in the Great Trigonometrical Survey Map, while the peculiarities of their Fauna and Flora had not been recorded. The project was approved by the Right Honourable Lord Harris, then Governor of the Madras Presidency, and the services of Major D. Hamilton were sanctioned by His Excellency Sir Patrick Grant, Commander-in-chief, to accompany us as artist, to delineate the characteristic features of the country.
 
Article
James Croll left school at the age of 13 years, yet while a janitor in Glasgow he published a landmark paper on astronomically-related climate change, claimed as ‘the most important discovery in paleoclimatology’, and which brought him to the attention of Charles Darwin, William Thomson and John Tyndall, amongst others. By 1867 he was persuaded to become Secretary and Accountant of the newly established Geological Survey of Scotland in Edinburgh, and a year after the appearance of his keynote volume Climate and time in 1875, he was lauded with an honorary doctorate from Scotland's oldest university, Fellowship of the Royal Society of London and Honorary Membership of the New York Academy of Sciences. Using a range of archival and published sources, this paper explores aspects of his ‘journey’ and the background to the award of these major accolades. It also discusses why he never became a Fellow of his national academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In the world of 19th-Century science, Croll was not unusual in being both an autodidact and of humble origins, nor was he lacking in support for his endeavours. It is possible that a combination of Croll's modesty and innovative genius fostered advancement, though this did not hinder a willingness to engage in vigorous argument.
 
(A) ELGNM 1 (holotype), mould of partial maxilla and vertebra; (B) ELGNM 15, moulds of pterygoid, vertebra, haemal arch, phalanx; (C) mould of the ventral surface of an osteoderm, ELGNM unnumbered; (D) mould of indeterminate element, ELGNM 29; (E) cast of ELGNM 29; and (F) mould of indeterminate ulna and radius. Abbreviations: ha ¼ haemal arch; ip ¼ interdental plates; lmr ¼ longitudinal medial ridge; mx ¼ maxilla; ol ¼ olecranon; ph ¼ phalanx, pl? v? ¼ possible palatine or vomer; pt ¼ pterygoid; ra ¼ radius; te ¼ teeth; tp ¼ transverse process; ul ¼ ulna; ve ¼ vertebra. Scale bars ¼ 20 mm.
(A) Partial mould of the medial surface of the right maxilla of ELGNM 1, with (B) its interpretative drawing and (C) the original drawing of the cast of ELGNM 1 from Huxley 1877; (D) mould of the dorsal surface of the right pterygoid of ELGNM 15, with (E) its interpretative drawing; (F) cast of right pterygoid of Ornithosuchus woodwardi NHMUK PV R3143, in dorsal view. Abbreviations: ch ? choana; ept ? ectopterygoid ; gr ? groove; ip ? interdental plates; lmr ? longitudinal medial ridge; mx ? maxilla; pl ? palatine; pl?pt.f ? palatine?pterygoid fenestra; pl? v? ? possible palatine or vomer; pt ? pterygoid; so.f ? suborbital fenestra; te ? teeth. Arrows indicate anterior direction. Scale bars ? 20 mm.  
Article
The pseudosuchian archosaur Ornithosuchus , from the Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation (Late Triassic), Scotland, was the first ornithosuchid to be discovered, and the only one recorded, in the northern hemisphere. The fossil record of “Ornithosuchus longidens” is mainly based on natural moulds and, in a few cases, three-dimensional bony elements, complicating the interpretation of its anatomy. The taxonomy of this species has changed several times since the late 1800s and here we revisit its current status. The synonymy of “Dasygnathoides longidens” and Ornithosuchus woodwardi proposed by Walker (1964) is rejected, based on new interpretations of the holotype and referred specimens of “Dasygnathoides longidens” . The latter species is considered as a nomen dubium , because it lacks diagnostic features and cannot be identified beyond Pseudosuchia. As a result, Ornithosuchus woodwardi is resurrected as a valid species and its diagnosis is emended. The body size range of Ornithosuchus woodwardi is reduced to about a half, because ELGNM 1, previously considered the largest specimen of the genus, can no longer be referred to it. “Dasygnathoides longidens” cannot be assigned to any of the known archosauriforms from the Lossiemouth Sandstone Formation, but it still represents the largest predator currently known for its fauna.
 
Article
The ontogeny of the pelturine olenid trilobite Leptoplastides salteri (Callaway, 1877) from the Shineton Shales, Shropshire, England, was first described in 1925 by Frank Raw. Since that time, scanning electron microscopy and other new technologies have revealed many more details of structure, of early developmental stages in particular, than were available to Raw. Whereas protaspides are not preserved and the state of preservation is less than perfect for the smallest meraspides, we have established that the latter had an array of delicate, long thoracic and pygidial spines, as well as paired procranidial spines, which disappear by meraspid degree 8. Raw's reconstructions of early meraspides, and his measurements of the early stages in development, are here amended in the light of new information. Dorsal spines in the adult are much more highly developed than have been documented in any other olenid. The hypostome is preserved in place in several specimens. Initially conterminant (attached to the doublure), it becomes natant (free) in late meraspid to early holaspid stages of development, with its anterior contour fitting exactly to that of the glabella. The ecology of the widespread Leptoplastides is best known from very extensive sections in South America, which provide a useful basis for comparison. It was well adapted to a range of environments, both oxygenated and dysoxic, and is usually the dominant taxon in the biofacies in which it is found.
 
Article
Of these gigantic thermometers, with their bottle-sized bulbs, their long capillary intermediate tubes, and their upper enlarged bores for scale-reading purposes, an account of their construction and being placed in position for observation on June 26, 1879, is to be found in Part II. Vol. XXIX. of the Transactions of the Royal Society, Edinburgh, for 1879–80, and it is only proposed in the present place to give an account of their performances since that time.
 
Article
The reconstructed palate of Whatcheeria deltae indicates a skull that was unusually narrow: at least 2.2 times longer than wide if the pterygoids are conservatively placed in the horizontal plane. This maximum width is narrower than any other early tetrapod reconstructed so far. Rotating the pterygoids to produce a vaulted palate would produce an even narrower skull. Primitive palatal features include very narrow interpterygoid vacuities and a vomer, palatine, and ectopterygoid with fang-sized replacement pairs. It is derived in that there is no anterior palatal fenestra and the premaxilla has a substantial palatal shelf – a combination of characters shared only with Proterogyrinus among early tetrapods. There is a possible septomaxilla in one specimen. Whatcheeria differs from and is more derived than Pederpes , its likely sister taxon, in that only the pterygoid is covered with denticles, the vomer, palatine, and ectopterygoid containing labyrinthine teeth only. Reconstructed dental occlusion indicates that the large choana apparently accommodated the large dentary fangs; this would be a unique feature among early tetrapods. The palatal ramus of the pterygoid is longer than the quadrate ramus, which does not have a descending flange. Like Meckel's cartilage in the lower jaw, the palatoquadrate is fully ossified in larger specimens, such that in a posterior view of the skull the pterygoid is mostly hidden from sight by the epipterygoid. The ossified neurocranium consists of the basiparasphenoid and basioccipital; no ossified sphenethmoid has been found. Remains of otic capsules are partial, crushed, and smeared, so no useful morphology is available. The stapes appears to be more columnar and less plate-like than in many other primitive, early tetrapods.
 
Article
I accept Schubnel & Nel's (2019) opinion that Protohierodula belongs to the clade Artimantodea, that it cannot be reliably assigned to the family Manteidae and should be regarded as family incertae sedis .
 
Article
The late Eocene mantis genus and species Protohierodula crabbi can be attributed to the extant clade Artimantodea incertae sedis sit. nov., but its original placement in the Manteidae is not supported. It remains the oldest reliable described Artimantodea.
 
Article
Seabed Mapping for the 21st Century – The Marine Environmental Mapping Programme (MAREMAP): Preface - Volume 105 Issue 4 - John A. Howe, Alan Stevenson, Robert Gatliff
 
Article
The Glasgow area has a combination of highly variable superficial deposits and a legacy of heavy industry, quarrying and mining. These factors create complex foundation and hydrological conditions, influencing the movement of contaminants through the subsurface and giving rise locally to unstable ground conditions. Digital geological three-dimensional models developed by the British Geological Survey are helping to resolve the complex geology underlying Glasgow, providing a key tool for planning and environmental management. The models, covering an area of 3200km ² to a depth of 1.2km, include glacial and post-glacial deposits and the underlying, faulted Carboniferous igneous and sedimentary rocks. Control data, including 95,000 boreholes, digital mine plans and published geological maps, were used in model development. Digital outputs from the models include maps of depth to key horizons, such as rockhead or depth to mine workings. The models have formed the basis for the development of site-scale high-resolution geological models and provide input data for a wide range of other applications from groundwater modelling to stochastic lithological modelling.
 
Article
On 7–9 July 2016, the palaeontological association Agora Paleobotanica organised its fourth international meeting. It took place at the National History Museum of Brussels and was attended by 45 delegates. This special volume of the Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh compiles key papers presented at this meeting. The topics covered include a wide variety of Devonian to Miocene plant taxa, with exciting new data on both mega- and microfossils.
 
Article
The life of which I am about to give some account to this Society cannot be called a literary one; of literary lives only it is perhaps the proper business of the Royal Society to record the particulars; but it has been in the practice of allowing a wider range to this customary notice of its deceased Members. Of the lives of such as were eminent in station or in usefulness, in abilities or in virtue, it has been accustomed to hear a narrative, which, though not important to learning, is interesting to humanity. Under this title, it will indulge me with a short account of the life of Lord Abercromby.
 
Article
The communication received from Dr Dyce chiefly consists of a description of a singular affection of the nervous system, and mental powers, to which a girl of sixteen was subject immediately before puberty, and which disappeared when that state was fully established. It exemplifies the powerful influence of the state of the uterus on the mental faculties; but its chief value arises from some curious relations which it presents to the phenomena of mind, and which claim the attention of the practical metaphysician. The mental symptoms of this affection are among the number of those which are considered as uncommonly difficult of explanation. It is a case of mental disease, attended with some advantageous manifestations of the intellectual powers; and these manifestations disappearing in the same individual in the healthy state.
 
Article
Material excavated from a trench dug to expose the Rhynie Cherts Unit of the Dryden Flags Formation included blocks of Rhynie chert up to 50 cm thick and comprising the full thickness of plant-bearing chert beds. These blocks, and others collected as float, display a variety of macro-textures typical of silicification at the terrestrial surface and in shallow water. On sandy terrestrial surfaces, autochthonous and allochthonous plant debris and plant rhizomes are well preserved, but aerial axes generally decayed prior to silicification. In shallow water, clonal plants, particularly Rhynia , are preserved with aerial axes in growth position, supported by microbial mats and meshworks. Preservation of such delicate fabrics required the creation of a load-bearing framework early in the silicification process, to prevent crushing during early burial. On the microscale, plant taphonomy reveals characteristic features due to plant decay prior to silicification in both wet and dry conditions, and also during the silicification process. Silicification of plants was frequently very rapid, preserving delicate transient features such as spore germination and ejection of sperm cells from antheridia. In situations where plant tissue continued to decay during silicification, the process was slower.
 
Article
An Ordovician subvolcanic intrusive complex hosted by Neoproterozoic metasediments crops out at Souter Head about 6km S of Aberdeen, Scotland. The complex is composed mainly of two-mica red granite and breccia with minor dykes of pegmatite, quartz porphyry, felsite and dolerite, and widespread quartz veining, hydrothermal alteration and minor molybdenite mineralisation. Anomalous levels of bismuth (Bi), arsenic (As) and gold (Au) occur in quartz–pyrite veins. The complex has been mapped and the major- and minor-element geochemistry, including rare-earth elements of intrusives and mineralisation, has been determined. These data reveal a complex tectonic, intrusive and hydrothermal history. The intrusives are peraluminous and magnetite-, muscovite- and garnet-bearing. The youngest member, a quartz porphyry, is highly fractionated. There are two stages of hydrothermal activity: the first is linked to the explosive release of volatiles from a granite cupola and breccia formation; and the second, widespread quartz veining. Mo is associated with both stages, and Bi–As–Au anomalies are found in late quartz–pyrite veins. The mineralisation is classified as a granite-related vein-type Mo system. The unique preservation, in the Grampian terrane, of an Ordovician subvolcanic complex may be attributed to pre-Devonian movements on the nearby Dee fault and possibly also the collapse of the magma chamber following the explosive release of volatiles. The combination of large size, poor exposure and abundant multi-stage hydrothermal activity suggests that there is potential for further Mo and possibly Au mineralisation in this complex. Further mineralisation of this style may be present in the NE Grampian terrane.
 
Article
The specimen which formed the subject of the first of the following analyses, was brought from the banks of the river Dee, about seven years ago, by my friend Mr James Mill, who at that time resided in Aberdeenshire. By him I was informed, that considerable quantities of it are found in different parts of the bed of that river,—that it is called by the inhabitants ironsand,—and that they use it for sanding newly written paper. I tried some experiments in the year 1800, in order to ascertain its nature; but was too little skilled at that time, both in mineralogy and practical chemistry, to manage an analysis of any considerable difficulty.
 
Article
While engaged last autumn in examining with a hand-lens the contents of a phial into which I had transferred some of the refuse of the dredging-boats employed in the oyster fishery on the coast of South Devon, my attention was attracted by a minute organism which adhered to a fragment of one of the larger Sertularidans. Under this low power it resembled somewhat a Campanularia, with the polype expanded; but, on being removed with a portion of the substance to which it was attached, and placed in a glass trough under the compound microscope, I found that it had closed up, and now resembled in form a cup surmounted by a pyramidal lid, and supported on the summit of a long jointed stem (Plate XIII., fig. 3).
 
Article
It is well known that although the overwhelming majority of specimens of fircones exhibit one or other of the simple spiral arrangements represented by the terms of the ordinary series ½, ⅓, ⅖, ⅜, , &c., whose generating and successive secondary spirals are indicated by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, &c., yet exceptional cases occur now and again, where we find either conjugate spirals of the ordinary system, or arrangements (usually simple, but sometimes conjugate) belonging to other systems of spirals. Of these exceptional arrangements, perhaps the most common are bijugates of the ordinary system, giving the numbers 2, 4, 6, 10, 16, 26, &c., and simple spirals belonging to the system ⅓, , &c., giving the numbers 1, 3, 4,7,11, 18, &c. More rarely, trijugates of the ordinary system occur, giving the numbers 3, 6, 9, 15, 24, 39, &c.; or spirals of the system , ⅕, , &c., giving the numbers 1, 4, 5, 9, 14, 23, 37, &c.; not to speak of various other arrangements, some of which will fall to be considered in the special cases which form the subject of the present communication.
 
Article
It is universally admitted, that, in the present advanced stage of Meteorological Science, nothing would be more desirable than complete and accurate registers of the indications of Meteorological Instruments,—more especially of the Thermometer, Barometer, and Hygrometer, such registers being cotemporaneously kept at numerous places, and at various elevations on the earth's surface. Many are the obstacles, however, which have been found opposed to such an acquisition.
 
Article
The experiments described in this paper were commenced with the view, not only of determining the absolute thermal conductivity of nickel, but also of comparing the results found by Forbes's and Ängstrom's methods for the same specimen. Although some readings were taken for Ängstrom's method, that part of the investigation was not completed, because it was found that the experimental errors — unavoidable, on account of the necessity of measuring rapidly changing temperatures—would be too great for the results to be of any value. The thermal conductivity of a portion of the bar of nickel used for Forbes's method was determined by a direct method involving the determination only of steady temperatures, and the results so obtained are given in the latter portion of this paper.
 
Article
The experiments from which the following are extracted, make part of a course, instituted at the Royal Military Academy, for determining the resistance of the air to a surface of any form whatever, either plane or curved, moved through it with any degree of velocity. I was induced to undertake these experiments, both for the improvement of my students in the Academy, and with a view to apply the conclusions derived from them towards perfecting the theory and practice of military projectiles, as well as other branches of natural philosophy, in which the pressure or resistance of fluids is concerned: Circumstances, concerning the laws of which, authors on the theory have widely differed; some making the pressure or resistance equal to the weight of a column, whose altitude is equal to the whole height due to the velocity, while others make the altitude very different, either the half or the double of that.
 
Article
Having frequently had the pleasure of examining the very interesting and highly valuable collection of volcanic specimens brought from Iceland, and presented to the Royal Society by Sir George Mackenzie, I was gratified in an opportunity which was afforded me, at the close of 1830, of visiting the Lipari Islands, the only other great repository of obsidian in Europe, and of there collecting the suite of specimens which I have now the honour of presenting to the society. Unfortunately, it is far from complete as a geological series; for the difficulties occasioned by the tempestuous state of the weather, and the impossibility of getting to the more remote islands in a small boat during the month of December, limited my movements extremely, and forced me to confine my observations to the two principal islands of the group, viz. Lipari and Vulcano. I do not therefore pretend to give any geological account of these islands, or even of the two on which I landed. My object in collecting, and consequently also in presenting to the Society, this series of specimens, was to afford the means of comparing with each other the productions of the two great obsidian districts of Europe; those from Lipari, which are now on their table, with the Iceland suite already in their possession.
 
Article
On the subject of accent and quantity as elements of human speech, there has been such an immense amount of confusion, arising from vague phraseology, that in renewing the discussion nothing seems more necessary than to start with a careful and accurate definition of terms; and that a definition not taken from books, and the dumb bearers of a dead tradition, but from the living facts of nature, and the permanent qualities belonging to articulated breath. Now, if we observe accurately the natural and necessary affections of words in human discourse, considered merely as a succession of compact little wholes of articulated breath, without regard to their signification, we shall find that all the affections of which they are capable amount to four. Either (1), the mass of articulated breath which we call a word, is sent forth in a comparatively small volume, as in the case of a common gun, or it is sent forth in large volume, as in the case of a Lancaster gun; this is a mere affair of bulk, in virtue of which alone it is manifest that any word rolled forth from the lungs of a Stentor must be a different thing from the same mass of sound emitted from a less capacious bellows. In common language this difference is marked by the words loud and low.
 
Article
In the seventieth and seventy-first volumes of the London Philosophical Transactions, the reader will find an account of some Experiments and Observations made here upon cold in the years 1780 and 1781. Though, at first, I had no other view but that of keeping a register of the very cold weather which set in on the 13th January 1780, yet I was soon led to extend the plan of my observations, upon meeting with a new phænomenon, which appeared to me to deserve some attention. This phænomenon consisted in a constant difference of temperature of the snow which, at that time, covered the fields, and that of the air at a few feet above: the snow being the coldest.
 
Article
A Large snake of this species was brought to Comillah. It measured 15 feet 3 inches in length, and 18 inches in circumference about the middle. This measurement, however, varied considerably by the wreathings and contortions it made, in order to free itself from confinement.
 
Article
Sir, I had the following receipt for making the Otter of Roses, as it is prepared in the East Indies, from Major Mackenzie of Coull, in the county of Ross, who told me he got the account from an officer of his corps, who was up in the country where it is prepared, and assisted in making it himself.
 
Top-cited authors
Brian JOHN Bluck
  • University of Glasgow
Bin Chen
  • Axalta Coating Systems
Bor-ming Jahn
  • National Taiwan University
M. P. Searle
  • University of Oxford
Robert Pankhurst
  • British Geological Survey