Anne Jay

Anne Jay

I'm a lecturer in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences at the Open University. I research a type of volcano called large igneous provinces.

Location The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK


  • Congratulations everyone on completing the course. The forum discussions were brilliant, I feel that they really enhanced the course, I hope fellow learners felt so too.
    This is the final presentation of this course on FutureLearn. If you want to recommend it to others a version of it can be found on OpenLearn....

  • @PhilipDunn Thanks Philip, we enjoyed making it.

  • @MariaGrigg you are completely right, although it is not that common for pebbles (which make a conglomerate) to be washed out to sea, as the current isnt strong enough to carry them.

  • @SamHancock unfortunately not.

  • It was an easy and clear way to show in black and white figures in scientific journals.

  • @SamHancock Yes we can see variations in sea level throughout the Earths history, but it's not an easy part of geology to do!

  • @AletheaBothwell great, that is right.

  • @BeateDoerre Sorry, this course is quite old in the Futurelearn world and the pin board wasn't available when we made it. Until you mentioned it i didn't know it existed. thanks for telling us. however, it's unlikely we will be able to change it now as I expect the course will be retired from FutureLearn soon as it has been given an OpenLearn version.

  • It should be the one you get to when you click on the link. Sorry if it isn't clear.

  • If you think it is sandstone which glitters, the glitter is normally a mineral called muscovite mica, if your interested.

  • Anne Jay replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    @SuziAnderson If you have a flickr account you could look at the pictures that people post there. Or just look for rocks when you are able to get out and about again, which I hope will be soon :)

  • @BeateDoerre ok, I'll see what I can do. Firstly, shale is a sedimentary rock and slate is a metamorphic rock. Shale is formed when very small grains, of flatish clay minerals are deposited in the oceans. As they settle out they tend to land flat side down. Imagine throwing a pack of cards in the air and them all falling down on the ground in a messy...

  • @ClaudiaCullen we need to differentiate between geographic poles, which are the points around which the earth rotates (imagine the Earth on a skewer, rotating, the north and south poles are where the skewer would poke out of the earth) and the magnetic North and South poles. These are where your compass points to. They are in similar places, but not the same....

  • @NigelCoe Just to clarify it's not magma, which is only found in certain places the Earth's crust, it's the outer core which is a molten iron nickle alloy.

  • the clue is the fossils.

  • Anne Jay made a comment

    Sorry I changed the group name on Flickr so it doesn't have August in it, but I can't edit the text in the MOOC :( It is still the right group though.

  • Hi @JohnSloman You are right Marble is a metamorphic rock. The rock is recrystallised as a solid. So a metamorphic rock is eother formed by increased temperatures and pressures or just increased temperature. The former is more common in mountain building zones where tectonic plates colliding create high temperatures and pressures. This temperature and...

  • That is fascinating, thanks @carolepannhoff

  • Hi @IsidoraDumitrov Have a look at my brief explanation above.

  • @RichardRees the movement of the pole which is recorded on OS maps is called geomagnetic secular variation and it is just the random wobble of the Earth's magnetic field.

  • @RichardRees all good questions.
    very briefly, as these are all big research topics.
    1) we know the magnetic field is created by the liquid outer core which is mostly made of iron and nickel. It has currents flowing in it due to convection and the Earth spinning. These move and alter over time and can change enough to cause the Earth's magnetic field to...

  • @LauraHenderson Excellent question.
    During radioactive decay the parent isotope decays into the daughter isotope, so as the daughter isotope increases the parent isotope decreases at the same rate. So by carefully measuring both the amount of parent and daughter isotopes you can work back and see what your starting amount of parent isotope was.
    This method...

  • @IanClark Awesome, did they believe you? it is pretty amazing.

  • HI,
    Sorry I changed the group name on Flickr so it doesn't have August in it, but I can't edit the text in the MOOC :(

  • @KathleenWalker Sorry you couldn't see some of the rocks in detail, it is hard to film them well. Most of the shells were found in limestone rather than marble. Marble is metamorphosed limestone, so limestone that has been heated and/ or squashed to high pressures and temperatures, so it is rare for fossils to survive in marble. But it can be difficult to tell...

  • @NatalieMorant I can save you there. Not all granite work tops are made of granite, in fact very few are. The term granite has been hijacked by the interior rock marketers to mean any rock that isn't marble/limestone, normally one that will take a polish. SO don't worry if it doesn't match what we say.

  • I'm sure you will find something. Banks are a good place to look because they wanted to show that they had enough money to import stone from else where.

  • @RichardBell that is exciting!

  • It's just practice, like most things. But I think you will find that as long as the grains are big enough to see by eye you will be surprised what you can work out yourself.

  • Thanks Artura, but unfortunately we can't cover everything, chemical precipitates are a bit much for an introductory course :)

  • Hi Reeteka, those are my favourite types of rock, they are basalt formed from a volcano, so you are right, they are igneous. The columns, care called columnar jointing and are caused by the rock shrinking as it cools. Enjoy.

  • @IsidoraDumitrov It's great to know you are learning new things.

  • Hi @IsidoraDumitrov that's a great suggestion, what does everyone else think?

  • Possibly Cornwall in the UK, but I am not sure.

  • Anne Jay made a comment

    Woo hoo, well done. Week one is complete. I hope you have enjoyed week one.

  • Please forgive the dinosaurs arriving too early.

  • The Flickr page has some of the photos from previous learners so you can enjoy those too.

  • @JasonAndrews looking things up isn't cheating its learning :) Unless you look then up in an exam of course.

  • Hi Robert. Although Diamonds and coal are both carbon (coal has a lot of other stuff in it as well). Natural diamonds a form of pure carbon. They form deep in the mantle where the temp and pressure is high enough for the graphite structure to change to the much stronger diamond structure. The only part of the Earth that is hot enough and under enough pressure...

  • you are so lucky. I study continental flood basalts and I have been to the Columbia river twice it is beautiful.

  • @AnneFisher Pester your MP and get friends to pester them too. if enough people care enough to take the time to write to their MP, they will have to take notice.

  • hi
    All rain is naturally acidic from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which forms the weak acid, carbonic acid. It gets too acidic when we burn things that contain sulphur (e.g., coal) and than makes sulphuric acid which is a strong acid, and therefore much more damaging. Generally with the decrease in coal burning for electricity acid rain is now not...

  • Hi,
    I do know exactly how you feel. It feels like such a mountain to climb. I guess the best thing it to try to do as much as you can where you live. I'm building a green wall on my garage, planting plants in 2l bottles that have been donated to me, although I have had to buy plastic pipes to set up the irrigation system, :(. But I hope it will last a long...

  • Has it happened in E Africa too. I thought it was mostly Bangladesh that has had the arsenic problem.

  • Thank you. We tried to make the course as interesting and varied as possible. Covering lots of the Earth sciences without being a bog standard Geology 101.

  • @JudyDixon The use of 'kind of' in someone speech is perfectly acceptive, especially when under the pressure of being interviewed on camera. It is only noticeable when the transcript is read, as writing out spoken text and then reading it in your head always sounds strange. We don't write in the same way that we speak.
    Please could you consider carefully...

  • @YvonneWilliams Hello Yvonne, The transcript is exactly that, the written text of the words Dr Bell said. In general people do not write in the same way as we speak (it would sound very odd if we did) and as such, idioms occur in speech much more frequently than they do in written text. When they occur in text, as in this case, they can look quite...

  • @ColinBanks Hi Sorry about the lack of a key. we will see if we can get permission to use it, but it is easier said than done. Thanks again for making the effort to enquire. Anne

  • Welcome to Week 3 everyone. In this week we learn about oil. The addiction of modern times. What is it used for? What is it? How does it form and how do we find it? Geology is a detective story, taking many clues and adding them together to find the most plausible answer, that you hope is right.
    Although this week is about oil, the material you lean about is...

  • Because their are different types of copper deposits that are formed in different ways. the African copper deposits aren't porphyry deposits.
    This probably has more on copper than you ever wanted to know :)

  • HI, you seem to have explained it well. the glacier erodes material, transports it somewhere, water and wind can remove the smaller material but the boulder and bigger pebbles remain where the glacier dropped them. does that help?

  • hi
    Yes it can contain other impurities, which often change its colour (i.e. amethyst). Although it contains small amounts of impurities, such as iron in the case of amethyst, the basic chemical formula and structure of the crystal lattice (the way the atoms are arranged in a regular pattern) is still that of quartz SiO2.

  • What a great discussion everyone.

  • I think it is probably because they were found in rare minerals. They may have been though of as rare when they were 1st found as they hadn't been found before.

  • Anne Jay made a comment

    There is an error on the map. the arrows that show India moving away from Asia should be the other way round. India is moving towards Asia and it is a destructive plate boundary. Sorry!

  • Good though and I recall about 20 years ago they have thought about lubricating the San Andreas fault, and in fact natural water does act as a lubricant in faults. But faults in the Earth's crust aren't single flat planes. They are multiple faults many of which are often formed of meters of crushed up rock, and they aren't smooth. Even if you could lubricate...

  • During a reversal I think magnetic poles pop up all over the place. We don't loose our magnetic field it just goes a bit haywire for a few thousand years.

  • @därylF Generally if a rock has been metamorphosed all signs of fossils will disappear. Very occasionally you do find weird warped fossils in marble (originally limestone) but it is very rare. Metamorphism by its definition is new crystals growing. The original ones are not happy at the temperature and pressure that the rock finds itself at and so the parts...

  • Yes we were not impressed either. But that is what happens when you let the creative department loose on science and then don't have the budget to correct it. Sorry for the confusion, but I hope you got the jist of it.

  • There has been suggestion that the 1st appearance of globally distributed plutonium 239, from the 1st nuclear tests could be used as an indicator for the start of the Anthropocene. Can nuclear weapons fallout mark the beginning of the Anthropocene Epoch? Waters et al 2015, (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists)

  • Hi, Sorry about that. It was out of our control and we cant get it changed now.