Thursday 1st August 2019 at 7.45pm
Mawson Lecture Theatre
Department of Geology
University of Adelaide
Brian Daily Memorial Lecture:
Wicked Witchelina and Hotspot Hiltaba: is it time for another UGG Boot in Australia?
Adjunct Professor Pat James
University of South Australia
Abstract: Witchelina is an inverted sedimentary basin, which was “wickedly” warped during ancient Delamerian mountain building, where it was complexly affected by diapirism, thrusting and folding. It was subsequently exposed by erosion, which is spectacularly revealed on Google Earth satellite images. Hiltaba conversely is a literal and metaphorical “hotspot”, and likely one of the unluckiest geological locations on Earth. About 1600 million years ago a vast outpouring of silicic lavas above a real mantle hotspot poured out over the older gneissic Gawler Craton and about a billion years later, the catastrophic Acraman asteroid slammed into the same location!
These two wonderful geological areas of outback SA are being returned to their former wilderness states by Nature Foundation SA. Visitors are attracted by newly developed geotourism interpretation tools, which include detailed signage and maps for 4WD geotours and walking trails, comprehensive track notes, illustrated brochures, Google Earth “fly-through” and VR geotours, together with substantial on-the-ground infrastructure.
Australia has been active in geotourism development due to its endowment of geological wonders. Australia was also a pioneer in the development of UNESCO Geoparks, with the Kanawinka Geopark established in southeastern Australia in 2008. That flirtation with a global brand however failed. Therefore, it may be time for us to revisit geoparks and the global geotourism phenomenon that is now spreading worldwide thanks to UNESCO.
Professor Pat James is Adjunct Professor in the School of Natural and Built Environments of the Division of Information Technology Engineering and the Environment (ITEE) at the University of South Australia (UniSA). He is also an Honorary Research Associate of Nature Foundation South Australia. He has a BSc in Geology from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Structural Geology from the University of Leeds in the UK.
Pat arrived in the Geology Department at Adelaide University in 1975, where he was a colleague and friend of Brian Daily until Brian’s premature death in 1986. At Adelaide University Pat was involved in many areas of geoscience research and teaching, including structural geology and tectonics, geological mapping, remote sensing, mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and a long involvement in the promotion of geoscience education, outreach and geotourism.
Pat retired from the position of Foundation Professor and Head of the School of Natural and Built Environments at UniSA in 2010. Prior to this, he was Associate Professor in Geoscience and Deputy Head of School of Earth and Environmental Science and former Associate Dean of Science (Teaching & Learning and Learning Technology) at the University of Adelaide. Latterly these roles left decreasing time for geological activities and in particular, field studies.
However, more recently he renewed his interests in the development and application of geodiversity, geoconservation and geotourism research jointly with the NBE School and Nature Foundation SA (NFSA). This involved significant remote SA geological fieldwork, sponsored by NFSA, the development of geotourism nature drives and walks, with field guides, geotrail brochures and virtual reality websites for their Witchelina and Hiltaba Nature Reserves in far north South Australia.
Pat is a keen follower of the Field Geology Club and is a long-term member of the Geological Society of South Australia, and is currently a member of their Geotourism and Geological Field Guide subcommittees.
Please note: there will be a gold coin donation on the night. The donation goes towards the annual Brian Daily memorial prize for the best geological map by a second year student at Adelaide University.
Members and visitors are warmly invited to attend. We are obliged for security reasons to keep the front door of the building locked. Please note that latecomers will not be admitted after 8.00 pm, in order not to interrupt the lecture. Everyone is invited to supper following the lecture.