TSG 2021 was a special event for many reasons. Not only was this our first Virtual Conference, but it was special for two other reasons: to mark our 50th anniversary following the cancellation of our dedicated event in September 2020 but also to celebrate the life of Patience Cowie who sadly left us earlier in the year.
The decision to go online was not an easy one but was convened by the committee with the help of Clare Bond heading up the TSG@50 celebratory talks. The virtual environment worked very well with attendee numbers unperturbed by the new format.
The conference kicked off on the morning of 5th January with a virtual field trip to Rhoscolyn, North Wales led by Geoff Lloyd (Leeds) and the Leeds Virtual Landscapes team. The geological landscape, built in a game engine environment, visited critical localities using 3D photogrammetry to observe outcrop-scale structures developed in low-grade metasedimentary lithologies.
The afternoon session was dedicated to reviewing the events and research that has shaped TSG meetings over the years. Rob Butler gave an excellent review of themes throughout the years with focussed talks on strain and rock mechanics; microstructure, metamorphics and fluids; tectonics; industry, salt and inversion; faults and earthquakes; and structural geology and net-zero.
The first day concluded with a public lecturer by Prof. Iain Stewart followed by a panel discussion on “The Role of Geology in a Changing World”.
The remainder of the conference was split into three afternoons of talks from Wednesday to Friday. The Wednesday afternoon focused on faults, fracture, fluids and rift basins and saw a range of talks that took us around the world starting with the Marlborough Fault Zone (New Zealand) and through to continental rifts in Malawi and into fissure systems in southern Italy.
Thursday began with a commemorative session for Patience Cowie with many talks from those who had worked closely with her over the years and many memories, as well as science, were shared. The active tectonics session followed, with some fantastic talks and posters.
Our final day began with the AGM where a number of new members were elected to the committee including, Dave McCarthy (secretary), Amicia Lee (ECR rep), Auriol Rae (ECR rep), Chris Yeomans (Ordinary Member) and Rebecca Robertson (PGR rep) – a final position of PGR rep remained open and was later filled by Hardy Nkodia. We offer a big thanks to those departing the committee, most notably Casey Nixon who has served as secretary for the past five years. The final afternoon of talks covered strain and microstructures, orogenesis and georesources which included an engaging poster session.
The TSG awards and prizes were given out at the last coffee break with the Dave Johnston mapping prize going to Peter Methley and second place to James Ball. The Ramsay Medal was won by Kit Hardman for his paper on fissures in Torbay with honourable mentions to Anna Bidgood and Chrsitopher Tulley.
The Britrock Prize for the best PhD presentation that incorporates a significant element of laboratory rock deformation was awarded to Lucille Carbillet. The Sue Treagus Award for best poster was collected by Marguerite Mathey. The winner of the Mike Coward Prize for best student oral presentation went to Lauren Kedar. The BP Prize best overall student contribution was awarded to Isabel Ashman