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The Imperial geophysicists

In the Preface to the report in the Imperial Geophysical Experimental Survey in Australia in the late 1920s and early 1930s, a few unforgettable names were listed. Attached to the survey was ‘J. M. Rayner, of the New South Wales  Department of Mines’, and moving to the lower echelons, the Electrical Section had a field assistant called R. F. Thyer, while designated as a Temporary Assistant was one N.H Fisher.

In Memoriam – Hugh Davies

It is not given to many people to be recognised as the most important figure in the geological history of an entire country, but Hugh Davies, who died on April 26 this year, had that distinction.

‘From Compass to Drone’ – a book review

In late 2022, Bill Hinze published, through the Minnesota Geological Survey, a book entitled From Compass to Drone: The Evolving Role of Magnetics in Mapping the Geology and Ore Deposits of the Lake Superior Region: 1830-2022.

Tapping Jenny

Coincidentally, two recent threads on LinkedIn brought Assynt to mind. And one of those threads concerned Janet Watson, geological queen of the Northwest Highlands


In the instructions Joseph Gaimard copied into the diary before he left Toulon, there is a long section on field geology. Despite being written in 1817, it could very usefully be given as a guide to first-year geology students in our universities. Amongst other things, it has some very nice sketches and some wise words on the importance of context, but it also has comments on the importance of rocks that are not in situ

Welcome to Duroca**

It took a few years for the significance of the linear magnetic anomalies discovered by Ron Mason and Arthur Raff to be realised, but they were key factors in the development of Plate Tectonics. This development might have been considerably delayed if their work, arguably the first systematic magnetic survey of a large area of oceanic crust, had instead been carried out over the seas east of Queensland. Even today the uniform data set that provides the best approach to study of this region is gravitational, not magnetic.