Welcome to the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall                                      



The Royal Geological Society of Cornwall is based in Penzance although its monthly meetings are held at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Allet near Truro.   It was founded in 1814 to promote the study of the geology of Cornwall and is the second oldest geological society in the world, after the Geological Society of London which was founded in 1807.  However, it has the longest run of publications of any geological society in the world.

The RGSC is a registered charity and the objects set out in the charity's governing document are to encourage the popular study of geology and related sciences, with special reference to the geology and mining interests of Cornwall; to afford opportunities for instruction and to preserve geological knowledge in the society's transactions and encourage via the website the publishing of papers regarding Cornish geology and to encourage geological field meetings.  

Geology of Cornwall

The rocks of Cornwall have an amazing story to tell. They have been on a journey of 8,000 miles in 400 million years. This journey has included tropical seas, deserts, volcanic eruptions and hot granites, mineral vapours rich in tin and copper and ever-changing climate and sea levels. The geology is dominated by its granite backbone, part of the Cornubian batholith, formed during the Variscan orogeny. Around this is an extensive metamorphic aureole (known locally as killas) formed in the mainly Devonian slates that make up most of the rest of the county. There is an area of sandstone and shale of Carboniferous age in the north east, and the Lizard peninsula is formed of a rare section of uplifted oceanic crust.

Map below produced by Charlie Kirkwood and Paul Everett, published in Stream sediment geochemistry as a tool for enhancing geological understanding: An overview of new data from south west England, Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 2016, 163, 28-40.

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