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Ancient volcanoes at Grangemill

By Gill Nixon


In early 1894, while researching his book The Ancient Volcanoes of Great Britain, Sir Archibald Geikie, then Director-General of the Geological Survey, spent a week examining the Derbyshire ‘toadstones’ in the company of local geologist, H.H. Arnold-Bemrose. The existence of these basaltic lavas and tuffs in the upper part of the Carboniferous Limestone had long been known, but Geikie was intrigued that no volcanic vents (or necks) had been recognised. He set out to find them, and during the course of his visit discovered ‘a group of two, possibly three, vents which rise into two isolated, smooth, grassy dome-shaped hills at Grange Mill [sic], five miles west from Matlock Bath.’ He noted that the necks were plugged by a ‘dull green agglomerate’, while in the limestone scarps that partly encircle Grangemill he recognised the ash deposits (Shothouse Spring Tuff) that had in all probability been erupted from these ancient Carboniferous volcanoes. With Geikie’s encouragement, Arnold-Bemrose went on to survey the volcanic succession in greater detail, publishing his now classic account of the Derbyshire toadstones in 1907

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: East Midlands Geological Society
Year: 2010
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