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Mapping the Sound: Charting Deep Time Through New Lenses


GeoHumanities Creative Commissions 2018 grant for collaborators Anne Bevan (artist, researcher & lecturer at University of Highlands and Islands, Department of Art & Design Orkney College) and Dr Carina Fearnley.

This project aims to create ‘cultural maps’ from a section of the coastline of Orkney using existing data sets and archives, and new materials gathered through the AHRC funded project ‘Orkney: Beside the Ocean of Time’. The cultural maps will develop as three creative interpretations. First, working with traditional and contemporary printing techniques including using an antique Columbian Press that was used to publish books of poetry by local authors including Robert Rendall & George Mackay Brown. Second, by generating digital and online interactive maps; and third, the use of sonification and creative mapping techniques to represent and integrate large geological, climatic and social datasets. By layering and building multi-disciplinary and multi-media interpretations and expressions, this project explores the aesthetic dimensions of traditional earth science fieldwork mapping practices, drawing out how this provides opportunities for a form of sensory fieldwork that combines creative/critical methods to produce an ‘eco-biography’ of site.

To follow progress please see: @OrkneyDeepTime


Orkney: Besides the Ocean of Time

See: for project outputs and ongoing materials


AHRC Grant led by by Niamh Downing (Principal Investigator), Richard Irvine (Co-Investigator), Lourdes Lopez-Merino (Co-Investigator), and Anthony Krus (Co-Investigator). The project aims to generate new understandings of the interrelationship between human community, Deep Time and landscape change using an interdisciplinary approach, in which five Early Career Researchers with backgrounds in Social Anthropology, Literature, Archaeology, Palaeoecology and Geology, will work together to find innovative ways to investigate and represent time-depth in landscape, using Orkney as a model.

To follow progress please see: @OrkneyDeepTime

We published an article 'A glass of whisky could help you get your head around deep time' in The Conversation. 



The Future of Ruins: Reclaiming Abandonment and Toxicity on Hashima Island


AHRC Grant led by PI Carl Lavery (Performance, Aberystwyth) and fellow co-investigators Deborah Dixon (Glasgow) and Mark Pendleton (Sheffield). This project combines and science and performance animated through a pilot study of Hashima Island, Japan – once the most densely populated site on Earth, now a wind and wave-swept ‘ghost island’– and emphasises how a traumatic past, a resilient present, and an always ‘monstrous’ future can be renarrativised via an embodied, affective, site-based fieldwork. Research was conducted in summer 2013.

To follow progress please see: @AHRCFutureRuins

Our blog 'Hashima: Future of Ruins' can be found on at  

The project final report is available here



Volcanic Warning and Response Systems: an Evaluation of the UK Ash Alert during the Eyjafjallajökull Eruption, 14-20 April 2010


After nearly six days of complete closure following renewed explosive activity from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, UK air space was finally reopened on 20 April 2010. As ‘routine’ conditions returned, questions were asked about whether the ban on flying had been necessary or had lasted too long, and whether changes in the UK flying regulations were justified? The research aims to address these questions by understanding and evaluating the early warning system used during the Eyjafjallajökull ash crisis, which is globally standardised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and reviewing ways of improving the warning system for future volcano crises. Image from NASA E/O.

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