2018 Earth Science Week photography competition winners revealed!






Earth Science Week 2018 is here – and we’re thrilled to announce the results of this year’s photography competition!

With a theme of ‘Earth science in our lives’, this year’s competition asked entrants for images of UK & Ireland geology which means something to their lives – whether the location of a field trip, a place near home or simply somewhere they love to visit.

We received hundreds of entries, along with stories about the geological locations important to you – many thanks to everyone who entered! The twelve winners will all feature in our 2019 calendar, as well as an exhibition at Burlington House.

First place: ‘Bow Fiddle Rock’, Andy Leonard (Portknockie near Cullen, Moray, Scotland) 

‘Bow Fiddle rock is eroded from Cullen Quartzite and is an extremely well known landmark.  I, and many others, moved to NE Scotland in the oil boom of the 1980s and this is one of the many beautiful landscapes within the area.’

Second place: ‘Stepping Stones’, Nigel Bell (Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland)

‘A place myself (and millions of others) visit to admire the beauty of the north coast of Northern Ireland.’


Third place: ‘The Colours of Iron’, Ursula Lawrence (Lochaber, Scotland)

‘A micro landscape photographed on an exposed quarry face of Ballachulish Slate Formation. The dark coloured mudstones contain Iron Pyrites (Iron Sulphide). This reacts with oxygen and water to form iron oxide (rust) and sulphuric acid. The acid reacts with any calcareous cement in the mudstone to form gypsum (hydrous calcium sulphate). This reaction is very important to engineering geologists (like me) as the acid attacks concrete and the gypsum causes heave.’


‘Slioch – the missing one billion years’, Emma Smith (Wester Ross, Scottish Highlands)

‘Slioch, famed in the geological community for its unconformity, is just as treasured in the communities who live in Wester Ross. It dominates the skyline as we travel long distances to school, to work, to play and to visit our closest supermarket 60 miles away! When you understand the geology – and the missing one billion years – even the longest of journeys seems to pass in a flash.’

‘Nash Point’, Kevin Privett (South Wales) 

‘The Porthkerry Member of the Blue Lias Formation (Rhaetian-Sinemurian age) is exposed in extensive wave-cut platforms along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, South Wales. It is close to where I live and illustrates the erosive power of the sea.’

‘Going down to the ocean’, Wuquan Cui (New Island, Falklands)

‘The Falklands, a British overseas territory at the other side of earth. New Island is located in West Falklands. There are only two permanent residents living in this island. I cannot imagine what they experience in their everyday lives after a short-time visit to them. Maybe the surface vegetation growing along the very special geology feature there can give us some clue.’

‘Cloud inversion on the Arran granite’, Alex Copley (Northern Arran, Scotland)

‘A cloud inversion seen on a morning run on the Cambridge 1st year undergraduate field trip to Arran. This photo highlights for me what an inspiring place Arran is for introducing Geology to students who are still making up their minds about what subject to study.’

‘Periglacial forces’, Tim Gregory (Cheddar Gorge, England)

‘While  studying  for  my  PhD  in  nearby  Bristol,  the  Carboniferous  limestone  cliffs  of  Cheddar  Gorge  have  been  a  reliable  escape  from  the  busy  world  of  PhD  life.’

‘The Road North’, Fraser Wotherspoon (Isle of Skye)  

‘This is a place I have only visited a few times, although I live only a few nautical miles across the Minch. Its peaks of flood basalts form a horizon I see almost daily as long as the weather prevails (which is not often!) The strata of ancient basalt is extremely young in comparison to the Archan Lewisian Gniess that forms the hills around my home. It is therefore, when I do get a chance to visit, a very exciting place!’

‘Autumn Equinox’, Sandra Angers-Blondin (Iona) 

‘A quiet evening on the Isle of Iona. It turns out it was the autumn equinox, and I watched a beautiful sunset from the highest point of the island.’

‘Sunset at Ireland’s most northerly point’, Yvonne Doherty (Malin Head, Ireland)

‘This image was taken at Ireland’s most Northerly Point at Malin Head, on the Inishowen peninsula in Co Donegal. This wild and rugged landscape is mainly composed of metamorphic and igneous rock formed over 400 million years ago.  You might recognise this landscape from the recent Star Wars movie which was partly filmed here in 2016.’

‘Ardvreck’, Gijs de Reijke (Assynt, Scotland)

‘’Ardvreck’ is about the use of rocks by people and age being relative. Of all the rocks found in Britain, those that can be found in Assynt are the oldest. Crofts, sheds and castles were made long ago of rocks that are far older, by people who were completely oblivious to what information the materials they were working with holds. Cambrian quartzite, Torridonian sandstone, Durness limestone and of course Lewisian gneiss; they all tell stories that make those of humans make completely insignificant. Not to mention what weathering, erosion and sedimentation have done to the place.’

Congratulations to all twelve photographers, and thank you to everyone who entered!

3 thoughts on “2018 Earth Science Week photography competition winners revealed!

  1. Pingback: Winning shots show off U.K. sites and the photographers who love them | MNN | Newspedia

  2. Pingback: Winning shots show off U.K. sites and the photographers who love them – Bainbridge Today

  3. Pingback: Earth Science in our Lives – Earth Science Week 2018 | Geological Society of London blog

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