Tony Waltham: lecture presentations

Salt terrains of Iran

The salt mountains within the Zagros Ranges of southern Iran are formed of diapirs of Precambrian salt, noted for active salt glaciers and with some amazing karst and beautiful caves within the salt.

Journey into the Danakil Desert

The Afar Triangle at the mouth of the Red Sea is an incredibly hostile terrain of very hot desert where extension processes on a divergent plate boundary create new faults, grabens and active volcanoes.

Volcanoes of Italy

Geology in action, Italian style, creates fun on the Lipari Islands, spectacle on Etna, drama on Stromboli, devastation at Vesuvius and potential excitement at Campi Flegrei.

Sinking cities

Many cities, including Mexico City, Tokyo, Shanghai and Venice, lie on convenient flatlands that are underlain by clay, which shrinks when groundwater is abstraction, so causing regional subsidence.

Andean Altiplano

Salt lakes, silver mines and volcanoes are among the geological wonders within beautiful deserts at high-altitude that form the altiplano between the ranges of the Andes in Bolivia, Peru and Chile.

Volcanoes of Kamchatka

In Russia’s Far East, the Kamchatka peninsula was inaccessible during the Cold War, but it houses a magnificent variety of volcanoes and associated features that make a geological visit so worthwhile.

Red Rock Country of the Colorado Plateau

The splendid landscapes carved in red sandstones in Utah and Arizona, dissected by the Grand Canyon, include the spectacular landscapes of Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and many more.

Alaska and Yukon

A grand tour of the vast Arctic wildernesses of northwest America provides a host of geological treats among landscapes that range from beautiful to spectacular.

Klondike: the greatest Gold Rush

Thousands of stampeders headed for the Klondike in the winter of 1898 after George Carmack panned gold in a tributary of Canada’s Klondike River; and gold has been mined in the valley ever since.

Sinkholes and subsidence

Ground subsidence is a frequent challenge for construction engineers, and one of the greatest geohazards is created by collapse over cavernous ground, in limestone and other soluble rocks.

Civil engineering meets geology at the Panama Canal

The challenges created by the ground conditions encountered during construction of the Panama Canal were a classic within the story of engineering geology in a complex world.

Frozen in the Arctic

The landscapes of the high Arctic include some of the most beautiful in the world, not just with their glaciers and icebergs, but including the many unusual features of permafrost and ground ice.

Landscapes of limestone

Karst landscapes are created where drainage is underground, and this creates not only great cave systems, but also a suite of landscapes and landforms from simply dramatic to truly magnificent.

Castleguard: cave beneath the ice

The remarkable Castleguard Cave that extends far beneath the Canada’s Columbia Icefield, and perhaps mimics conditions during the Ice Ages within may well-known caves.

Pilgrim trail to Kailas

The scared mountain of Kailas rises like a beacon from the high plateau of Tibet, and a journey to it follows the pilgrim trail through the Himalayas and across some magnificent landscapes.

The sinking of Venice

Clay causes ground subsidence when it is induced or accelerated by over-abstraction of groundwater, as is the case at Venice, where belated remedial action now protects the beautiful city.

Not the usual way to Ladakh

A memorable journey by road from Shimla to Leh across the beautiful landscapes of the Himalaya and Zanskar Mountains, in a very small and totally unsuitable rented car.

There is nothing like North Korea

The world’s most bizarre society is North Korea, where life has been so awful but is now showing signs of change and some modest improvements, though still under totalitarian control.

Splendours of Yemen

Sana’a is the capital city of Yemen, famed for its architecture and its great souks, set among sandstone mountains, and the island wilderness of Socotra has limestone landscapes noted for their flora.

Over the Ghats – the hill country of southern India

The basaltic plateau of the Western Ghats form spectacular terrain inland from Mumbai, and beyond them the lowland of peninsular India is broken by hills that each have their own distinctive character.

Slowly up the Ganges

A journey following the sacred river that is the Ganga starts in urban Calcutta, passes through the holy cities of Varanasi and Haridwar, glimpses the Taj Mahal and climbs to the foothills of the Himalaya.

Slowly down the Mekong

Travels through the delightful land-locked nation of Laos, along the great Mekong River and off into the adjacent hill country, to call at remote villages and some beautiful Buddhist temples.

From Baja to Chihuahua

Travel the length of Baja California to see the splendid landscapes of this desert peninsula, then cross the Sea of Cortez to traverse the mainland mountains by way of the enormous Copper Canyon.

Western Australia

A road trip around the Outback of Australia’s largest state brings geology alive, with huge caves, gorges in banded ironstone, a meteor crater and ancient stromatolites, all in beautiful deserts.

Pacific Ring of Fire

Travel around the margins of the Pacific Ocean to see the wealth of active geological processes where tectonic plates converge with great mountain chains, erupting volcanoes and major earthquakes.

Into the Russian winter

Northwards from a snowbound St Petersburg, to Arkhangelsk and into the remote forests of Pinega where long gypsum caves are frozen wonderlands of icicles, ice sheets and giant ice crystals.

Sandstone caves of Nottingham

The hundreds of artificial caves cut in the sandstone beneath Nottingham’s city centre offer a wealth of history and heritage and provide a few challenges for redeveloping the land above them.

These are just a selection of lectures that are available, mostly with the option of a greater or smaller geological content, so that they can be appropriate for academic societies or for groups with wider interests in distant lands. Also available are many more travelogues to places throughout Asia and the Americas, including Greenland, India, Japan, Australia, China, Tibet, Nepal and the Himalayas.

I am based in Nottingham, UK, and can be called for bookings on