Austin William Woodland

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Timeline[edit]

Date Details
1st Class honours degree University College Wales, Aberystwyth
1937 PhD On manganese bearing rocks in North Wales
Two years of University teaching
Joined the Geological Survey
1957 District Geologist, Yorkshire and East Midlands
1959 Moved to Leeds Office
1962 In charge NE Field Unit
1962 Assistant Director for Northern England
1971 Move to London - Deputy Director
1976–1979 Director of Survey
11th November 1990 Died in Cardiff
1963-1970 Council YGS
1965 Vice-President YGS
1967-1968 President YGS
1963-1967 Secretary General International Congress of Carboniferous Stratigraphy

Biographies and obituaries[edit]

Obituaries: Austin William Woodland (1914–1990) Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 48, 345-346, 1 May 1991, https://doi.org/10.1144/pygs.48.3.345a

Evans, W. (2004, September 23). Woodland, Austin William (1914–1990), geologist and geological administrator. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2 Sep. 2020, from https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-75161.

Publications[edit]

Works listed in the BGS Library catalogue

Survey publications[edit]

Woodland, A.W. Address by the Director on the occasion of the dedication of the John Smith Flett Lecture Theatre : Bulletin of the Geological Survey of GB no.70, 1979 p.1-2.

Woodland, A.W. ; Evans, W.B. ; Stephens, J.V. (1957). Classification of the Coal Measures of South Wales with special reference to the Upper Coal Measures. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Great Britain no.13 ; Bulletin of the Geological Survey of GB no.13, 1957 p.6-13 (1957) ; p.6-13.

Woodland, A.W. ; Evans, W.B. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1964). The geology of the south Wales coalfield. Part IV, The country around Pontypridd and Maesteg, explanation of one-inch geological sheet 248. 3rd ed.. (Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Great Britain. England and Wales). London : Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Woodland, A.W. ; Institute of Geological Sciences. The Llanbedr (Mochras Farm) borehole : Report of the Institute of Geological Sciences no.71/18, 1971 - 115p.

Woodland, A.W. ; Archer, A.A. ; Evans, W.B. ; Calver, M.A. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1957). Recent boreholes into the Lower Coal Measures below the Gellideg-Lower Pumpquart coal horizon in South Wales : Bulletin of the Geological Survey of GB no.13, 1957 p.39-60. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Great Britain no.13 (1957) ; p.39-60.

Woodland, A.W. ; Wright, J.E. ; Gray, D.A. ; Snelling, N.J. ; Institute of Geological Sciences (1979). Report on visit to Peoples Republic of China by delegation of official geologists from United Kingdom, April 1979. London : Institute of Geological Sciences.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1942). Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter - inch geological sheet 16) part 9 Well - catalogues for new series one - inch sheets 223 (Braintree), 224 (Colchester), 225 (Felixstowe), 241 (Chelmsford) and 242 (Brightlingsea) : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/9.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain. Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) : part 1 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 172 (Ramsey), 187 (Huntingdon) and 204 (Biggleswade), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/1, 1942 - 42p.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain. Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) : part 4 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 175 (Diss) and 176 (Lowestoft), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/4, 1942 - 55p.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain. Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) : part 5 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 190 (Eye) and 191 (Saxmundham), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/5, 1942 - 70p.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain. Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) : part 6 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 207 (Ipswich) and 208 (Woodbridge), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/6, 1942 - 66p.

Woodland, A.W. Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) : part 7 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 221 (Hitchin) and 222 (Great Dunmow), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/7, 1945 - 82p.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain. Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) : part 8 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 239 (Hertford) and 240 (Epping), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/8, 1942 - 76p.

Woodland, A.W. ; Museum of Practical Geology (1943). Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) part 2 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 173 (Ely), 188 (Cambridge) and 205 (Saffron Walden) : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/2.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1942). Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) part 3 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 174 (Thetford), 189 (Bury St Edmunds) and 206 (Sudbury), : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/3.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1946). Water supply from underground sources of Cambridge - Ipswich district (quarter-inch geological sheet 16) part 10 General discussion : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 20/10.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain. Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half) : part 2 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 169 (Coventry eastern half), 170 (Market Harborough) and 171 (Kettering), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 4/2, 1940 - 18p.

Woodland, A.W. Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half) : part 2 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 169 eastern half (Hinckley), 170 (Market Harborough) and 171 (Kettering), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 4/2, 1942 - 22p. 2nd ed.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain. Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half) : part 6 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 236 (Witney eastern half), 237 (Thame) and 238 (Aylesbury), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 4/6, 1940 - 37p.

Woodland, A.W. (1942). Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half) : part 1 General discussion, Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet, 4/1. 2nd ed.

Woodland, A.W. (1943). Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half) : part 5 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 218 eastern half (Bloxham), 219 (Buckingham) and 220 (Leighton Buzzard), Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 4/5. 2nd ed.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1940). Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half) part 1 General discussion : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 4/1.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1940). Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half) part 4 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 201 (Banbury eastern half), 202 (Towcester) and 203 (Bedford) : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet 4/4.

Woodland, A.W. (1942). Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half). Part 3, Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 184 eastern half (Rugby), 185 (Northampton) and 186 (Wellingborough) : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet No 4 part 3. 2nd ed.

Woodland, A.W. (1942). Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half). Part 4, Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 201 eastern half (Banbury), 202 (Towcester) and 203 (Bedford) : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet No 4 part 4. 2nd ed.

Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Survey of Great Britain (1940). Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half). Part 5 Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 218 (Chipping Norton eastern half), 219 (Buckingham) and 220 (Leighton Buzzard) : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet No 4 part 5.

Woodland, A.W. (1942). Water supply from underground sources of the Oxford-Northampton district (quarter-inch geological sheet 15, eastern half). Part 6, Well-catalogues for new series one-inch sheets 236 eastern half (Oxford), 237 (Thame) and 238 (Aylesbury) : Geological Survey of Great Britain Wartime Pamphlet No 4 part 6. 2nd ed.

External publications[edit]

Watt Committee on Energy ; Archer, A.A. ; Woodland, A.W. ; Crockett, R.N. (1981). Assessment of energy resources. (Watt Committee on Energy Report no.9). London : Watt Committee on Energy.

Wood, A. ; Woodland, A.W. Borehole at Mochras, west of Llanbedr, Merionethshire. Nature 219(5161) 1968 p.1352-1354.

Woodland, A.W. ; Highley, D.E. Britain's industrial minerals: their geological framework, their production today, and some aspects of their development. R.S.Fleming (ed), Proceedings of the first 'Industrial Minerals' International Congress, London, 8-9 July 1974. London: Metal Bulletin p.2-11.

Woodland, A.W. The buried tunnel-valleys of East Anglia. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society 37(4) 1970 p.521-578.

Francis, E.H. ; Woodland, A.W. The Carboniferous Period. W.B.Harland, A.G.Smith & B.Wilcock (ed), 1964, The Phanerozoic time-scale: a symposium. London:Geological Society of London (Special Publication no.1) p.221-232.


Harland, W.B. ; Ramsbottom, W.H.C. ; Stubblefield, C.J. ; Woodland, A.W. ; Geological Society of London. Stratigraphy Committee. A concise guide to stratigraphical procedure. Journal of the Geological Society of London 128(3) 1972 p.295-305.

Woodland, A.W. The exploration for petroleum and natural gas around the British Isles. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Session of the Ceylon Association for the Advancement of Science part 2 p.193-208.

Woodland, A.W. Field geology and the civil engineer. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society 36(4) 1968 p.531-578.

Woodland, A.W. Field geology and the engineer : abstract. Proceedings of the Geological Society of London no.1637 1967 p.33-34.

Woodland, A.W. Geological maps in a changing Britain. British Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting (Swansea: 1971). London: The Association p.37-55.

Woodland, A.W. (1969). Geological report on the Aberfan tip disaster of October 21st, 1966. A selection of technical reports submitted to the Aberfan Tribunal ; A selection of technical reports submitted to the Aberfan Tribunal / [by Great Britain. Welsh Office, & Tribunal appointed to inquire into the disaster at Aberfan on October 21st, 1966. London : HMSO, 1969. p. 119-145 (1969) ; p. 119-145.

Woodland, A.W. Geology in Government; its growing responsibilities under environmental stress. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Session of the Ceylon Association for the Advancement of Science part 2 p.175-192.

Holland, C.H. ; Kent, P.E. ; Ramsbottom, W.H.C. ; Stubblefield, C.J. ; Woodland, A.W. (1978). A guide to stratigraphical procedure. 1st. (Geological Society of London Special Report; no.11). London : Geological Society of London.

Woodland, A.W. ; International Geological Congress. The manganese deposits of Great Britain. J.G.Reyna (ed), 1956, Symposium Sobre Yacimientos de Manganeso [20th IGC] tomo V: Europa. Mexico:[The Congress] p.197-218.

Woodland, A.W. A map of part of Suffolk. Proceedings of the Geological Society of London no.1408 1944 p.14.

Woodland, A.W. ; Institute of Geological Sciences. The mineral exploration programmes of the Institute of Geological Sciences. Access 1979 p.11-15.

Fearnsides, W.G. ; Butler, A.J. ; Greenly, E. ; King, W.B.R. ; Pocock, R.W. ; Shirley, J. ; Woodland, A.W. ; Stubblefield, C.J. ; International Geological Congress (1948). North Wales and Shropshire. guide to excursions C.6 of the 18th IGC (1948).

Hollingworth, S.E. ; Taylor, J.H. ; Evans, W.D. ; Kellaway, G.A. ; Welch, F.B.A. ; Wilson, V. ; Woodland, A.W. (1951). The Northampton Sand Ironstone: stratigraphy, structure and reserves. (Memoir (Economic) Geological Survey of GB; 1951). London : HMSO.

Woodland, A.W. On an occurrence of sponge spicules in a deposit of Arenig age in the Rhiw district (Caernarvonshire). Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 50(2) 1939 p.223-226.

Woodland, A.W. The petrography and petrology of the Lower Cambrian manganese ore of west Merionethshire. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 95(1) 1939 p.1-35.

Woodland, A.W. The petrography and petrology of the Manganese ore of the Rhiw district (Carnarvonshire). Proceedings of the Geologists' Association 50(2) 1939 p.205-222.

Woodland, A.W. ; British Geological Survey ; Geological Society of London ; Institute of Petroleum ; Conference on the Petroleum Geology of the Continental Shelf of North-West Europe (1975). Petroleum and the continental shelf of north-west Europe. Vol.1 Geology [proceedings of a conference organized jointly by the Geological Society of London, the Institute of Geological Sciences ... and others, held London, November 25-29, 1974]. Barking : Applied Science Publishers [for] the Institute of Petroleum.

Conference on the Petroleum Geology of the Continental Shelf of North-West Europe ; Illing, L.V. ; Hobson, G.D. ; Woodland, A.W. ; Institute of Petroleum ; British Geological Survey ; Geological Society of London ; Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (1981). Petroleum geology of the continental shelf of north-west Europe : proceedings of the second Conference on Petroleum Geology organized by the Institute of Petroleum and held in London, 4-6 March 1980. London : Heyden, on behalf of the Institute of Petroleum.

Woodland, A.W. Petrological studies in the Harlech Grit Series of Merionethshire: I Metamorphic changes in the mudstones of the Manganese Shale group. Geological Magazine 75(890) 1938 p.366-382.

Woodland, A.W. Petrological studies in the Harlech Grit Series of Merionethshire: II The petrography and petrology of some of the grits, . Geological Magazine 75(892) 1938 p.440-454.

Woodland, A.W. Petrological studies in the Harlech Grit Series of Merionethshire: III The development of pyrite in the grits and mudstones. Geological Magazine 75(894) 1938 p.529-539.


Woodland, A.W. ; Institute of Geological Sciences (1974). Recent graduate recruitment patterns in the Institute of Geological Sciences (I.G.S.) : Geological Society, Miscellaneous Paper 1, 1974 21-29 : ill. (1974).

Woodland, A.W. (1978). Report on a visit to Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt - 24 Nov - 11 Dec 1978. British Geological Survey.

Woodland, A.W. The role of the Geologist : [abstract]. a the State geologist, Journal of the Geological Society of London 129(3) 1973 p.325-326.

Moore, L.R. ; Woodland, A.W. The sequence and structure of the southern portion of the east crop of the South Wales Coalfield : [with discussion]. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 103(4) 1947 p.261-300.

Woodland, A.W. ; Landslides in the South Wales coalfield. The South Wales coalfield : an introduction to its geology and landslips. Landslides in the South Wales coalfield, proceedings, symposium, Polytechnic of Wales, 1st to 3rd April, 1985, editor C.S. Morgan Pontypridd, Polytechnic of Wales, 1985 p9-17, IN: Landslides in the South Wales coalfield, proceedings, symposium, Polytechnic of Wales, 1st to 3rd April, 1985, editor C.S. Morgan Pontypridd, Polytechnic of Wales, 1985 p9-17.

Owen, T.R. ; Evans, W.B. ; Ramsbottom, W.H.C. ; Squirrell, H.C. ; Woodland, A.W. South Wales: excursion 2. Compte Rendu Sixieme Congres International de Stratigraphie et de Geologie du Carbonifere (Sheffield: 1967) vol.4 p.1669-1698.

Woodland, A.W. Spessartine in the Cambrian Manganese ore of Merionethshire : correspondence. Geological Magazine 72(8) 1939 p.384.

BGS archives[edit]

Ref No Title Description
GSM/GX/Z/483 Woodland, A W
IGS/DR/Wd Austin William Woodland Woodland was born on 4 April 1914 in the mining village of Mountain Ash, Mid-Glamorgan. He won a scholarship to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth where he was awarded first-class honours in geology in 1934 and a PhD in 1937 following which he was appointed to an assistant lectureship at Manchester University and then a lectureship at Queen's University, Belfast. He joined the Geological Survey of Great Britain in 1939. He was promoted to District Geologist for Yorkshire and the East Midlands in 1957, moved to North West England in 1960 and became Assistant director, Northern England in 1962. In 1966-67 he was the geological assessor for the Aberfan Disaster Tribunal. Woodland was appointed deputy director in 1971 and Director in 1976. He retired in 1979 and died on 9 November 1990. He was awarded a CBE in 1975.

Austin William Woodland as Director of the Survey[edit]

Extract from: From: Wilson, H.E. Down to earth - one hundred and fifty years of the British Geological Survey. Edinburgh:Scottish Academic Press, 1985. [In all directions: developments under Sir Henry's fourteen successors In all directions: developments under Sir Henry's fourteen successors]

Dunham was succeeded in 1976 by Austin Woodland who had been Deputy Director since 1971. Woodland was a traditional field geologist who had spent many of his early years mapping the South Wales Coalfield and whose evidence was important in the enquiry into the Aberfan disaster in the sixties. He was not wholly sympathetic with some of the directions in which the Institute had expanded over the previous decade and left NERC headquarters in no doubt about his views.

Woodland felt strongly that those parts of I.G.S. output which were of most value to the national geological archive were the traditional publications of the Field Survey — the maps and memoirs which will always be of value to the engineers, miners and planners of Britain. His main effort during his directorship was to maintain this base against the attacks on traditional mapping by a NERC increasingly obsessed by repayment work. The 'Consortium' of Departments funding the Geological Survey of Great Britain was maintained during his term in office and he was able to keep the field programme at a steady level. The relentless pressure for more contract work continued, however, and this process reached its nadir in the late 1970s when over 80% of the work carried out by the Institute was commissioned.

Perhaps Woodland's major organizational bequest was the Deep Geology Unit, established in 1977. It was funded from the scanty 'Science Vote' and made up of geologists and geophysicists transferred from existing units and recruited because of theirexperience in fundamental research. The intention was to have a multi-disciplinary group which would exploit the increasing flow of data on hydrocarbon exploration held by I.G.S. on behalf of the Department of Energy, and employ the expertise of such units as Global Seismology, Geomagnetism and Metalliferous Minerals and Applied Geochemistry in the study of the deep structure of the United Kingdom, with particular regard to hydrocarbon, geothermal and metallic mineral potential.

The new unit has been notably successful under its successive heads, W A Read and Alf Whittaker — with perhaps too large a proportion of its work commissioned by the Department of Energy. Though this work was of high quality it was based on confidential information and could not be published immediately, with the result that the excellent research efforts of the staff were not publicised. In 1983 the restructuring of the organisation divided the unit into two groups, responsible to two different Programme Directors, and its full potential has yet to be seen.

One of the most traumatic events of Woodland's Directorate was the sudden death in office of Bill Bullerwell late in 1977. Bullerwell had been the first geophysicist in the organisation, the first Chief Geophysicist and the successor as Deputy Director in 1976 to Steve Buchan. He was a man with a profound knowledge of the organisation and his departure was a significant loss at a crucial period. He was succeeded as Deputy Director by Peter Sabine, formerly Petrographer and latterly Head of the Geochemistry Division.

The formation in 1977 of the Deep Geology Unit occasioned yet another regrouping, for it was joined in a new Special Surveys Division by the Metalliferous Minerals and Applied Geochemistry Unit, Industrial Minerals Assessment Unit and Engineering Geology Unit.

In 1979 Woodland was succeeded as Director by Professor George Malcolm Brown, a distinguished geochemist who had been head of the Geology Department at Durham University — the third post-war Directoral appointment from outside the organisation.

There was a period of organisational stability until 1982, when the post of Chief Geophysicist, in abeyance since the death of Bullerwell in 1977, was revived and a new Geophysics Division appeared, with the disappearance of the Special Surveys Division, the component units of which were dispersed into other divisions, including a new 'Environmental and Deep Geology' Division.

In 1983 a second Deputy Director, George Innes Lumsden, hitherto Assistant Director in Scotland, was appointed and at the end of the year the whole concept of Divisional organisation disappeared with the introduction of a system of 'matrix management', planned to be flexible 'in response to changes in emphasis of the science and in the character of the Institute's programmes'.

Under the Director and his two Deputies (the only titles remaining from the past), four Programme Directors, three Chief Scientists, and a Head of Information and Central Services are responsible for the activities of the British Geological Survey, as the organisation was renamed on 1 January 1984.

The Chief Geologist, Chief Geochemist and Chief Geophysicist are responsible for overall standards in their subjects, for career management of the staff and for special research groups, while the Programme Directors control Regional Geological Surveys and similar field-orientated programmes on land in the UK, work on the Continental Shelf and overseas. Individual programmes are led by Programme Managers or Group Managers who may be SPSOs or PSOs.

The evolution of this system was a protracted process with, one must assume, a good deal of infighting among the Assistant Directors. It also produced a degree of interference from NERC headquarters which exceeded even their usual norm and this they compounded by their financial stringency. The result is a period of disillusionment and low morale among all levels of staff which must have no equal save, perhaps, in the last years of the Geikie regime. No Director in the whole history of the Survey can have had such a thankless and frustrating period in office as Malcolm Brown, most of whose hopes and expectations have, up to the time of writing in late 1984, been inhibited by the constraints of outside control.