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May 27, 2020

Happy Geologists Day!

The first Sunday in April is traditional celebration of Happy Geologists Day!
First of all, allow me to wish Happy Geologists Day! to our President U Win Myint (graduated from the Yangon University with B.Sc. Degree in Geology in 1974) who is an honour to our geology profession.
This professional holiday was established in the Soviet Union in 1980, but after its collapse the tradition to celebrate Geologist Day wasn’t forgotten. Nowadays it’s a professional holiday of geologist in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Geologist Day was established under the initiative of a group of Soviet prominent geologists, headed by academician Alexander Yanshin. Discovery of deposits of the oil and gas West Siberian province in 1966 became the reason for creation of the holiday. The geologists applied to the government with their request, that was approved by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on March 31, 1966. The date for the holiday was not chosen randomly. It marks the end of the winter and beginning of preparation for summer field work. Geologist Day is traditionally celebrated by all geological and mining organizations. Other people, who are involved in relating to geology fields, also consider this holiday as their professional day.
The timing of the holiday, the first Sunday in April, was chosen because it marks the end of winter and beginning of preparation for summer field work and expeditions. Geologists Day is traditionally celebrated in almost all geological and mining organizations of the former Soviet Union with festivities starting at the end of preceding week. With tens of thousands of geologists from the former Soviet Union working around the world, the tradition of celebrating the Geologists Day is becoming more international. In addition to geologists, many others involved in related fields also consider this day as their professional holiday and celebrate it.
In US, from the earth’s crust to the deep into its core, they recognize Geologists Day on the first Sunday in April. Geologists study the history, structure, and impact of other processes on the earth. Their discoveries and research play an essential role in our daily lives. Geology blends well with other sciences such as chemistry and physics. In fact, they are necessary for agriculture, architecture and weather prediction.
Those who pursue a geology degree open up a wide range of careers. From oceanography to NASA, education, government, and research, geology offers a worldview to applicants. Hobbyists and enthusiasts have a place in geology, too. Even amateur geologists contribute to the science from time to time. That’s part of the intrigue of geology and why we celebrate Geologist Day.
History of Geologists’ Day
Geology, or the study of the composition of rocks, soil and other materials, has been around since the times of Ancient Greece. Greek scientists wondered how the rocks were formed, studying fossils, and generating theories about how they were formed. Later during the Middle Ages when science was thought to have challenged the Catholic Church. During this time Leonardo da Vinci explored the functions of the human body but also became a pioneer in geology. He also concluded that the fossils embedded on mountain tops must have been from animals that swam on an ancient sea bed, though they couldn’t conclude how they got there. During the 17th-century, links begin to be made between sedimentary deposits in the oceans and the strata observable in rock formations. Much of the explanation as to how that happened however remained a mystery until James Hutton and Strata Smith came along. They helped find the explanation of the earth’s long and slow development over the course of thousands of years. Geologists’ Day aims to show appreciation for the geologists that continue to study the rocks and all its formations. It also strives to help further the study of how the earth came to be. Geologists’ Day is all about learning the history of the earth, the geologists who studied the earth and help inspire people out there to study geology.

How to celebrate Geologists’ Day
Celebrate Geologists’ Day by learning a bit about what geology is all about. Digging in rocks, observing maps, and studying how they came to be is what a geologists’ job is all about. Take the time to join a few online classes and see if it is something you enjoy. If so, why not go for a degree while you’re at it. Take a look into the history of geologists, what they believed about the earth at the time. Also show your appreciation for their studies by sharing this holiday with your friends and family. Although development of Geosciences should include academic and industrial sectors, the source of geology education is mainly Universities therefore this article will emphasize on the academic history of senior Myanmar geologists. I wish all Myanmar fellow geologists Happy Geologists Day! , today, auspicious day of 5th April 2020.
Again, I am highly honour to mention the dignitaries who are geologists with their respective ranks; Dr. Nyi Nyi (Minister for Mines), U Than Nyunt (Deputy Minister for Energy), U Aung Htoo (Deputy Minister for Energy) and Dr. Ye Myint Swe (Deputy Minister for Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation).

History of Myanmar Geology
Myanmar, the second largest country in Southeast Asia, occupies a geologically critical position in the northeast corner of the Indian Ocean, where the northern end of the Sunda-Andaman arc, the world’s second-longest arc system, has collided with the Indian continent in the Naga Hills and its juxtaposed with the eastern end of the India-Asia collision zone and Himalayas to the east. For its size and population, Myanmar has a disproportionately large number of world-class metallic mineral deposits, producing offshore and onshore reserves of gas and oil, and an abundance of gemstones, reflecting the country’s varied geology (Andrew Mitchell, 2018).
Burma lost her independence in the three successive colonial wars waged by the British imperialists in 1824, 1855 and 1885. After the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824, Arakan, Tanesserim and Assam were annexed by the British, and Lower Burma was lost after the Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1855. After the 1824 War the Viceroy of India sent a mission to Burma led by J. Crawfurd who on the way made geological observations and collected fossils which were later identified by Rev.
W. Buckland. Crawfurd’s account (1827) marked the first scientific observation of Burmese geology. During the 1830s, two important accounts appeared: Pere Guiseppe d’Amato (1803) gave the first authentic account of the Ruby Mines and Pemberton and Hannay (1837) made the first valuable contribution on the amber and jade. In Tenasserim area, F. Mason (1850) gave an account of the “Natrual Productions of Burmah”, wherein geology, minerals and topography of the Tenasserim area were given. This work was revised later by Theobald in 1882 and the portion of fauna and flora was greatly expanded.
The Geological Survey of India was established in 1851 with T. Oldham as its first Director. Oldham accompanied the Mission to the Court of Ava led by Sir Henry Yule sent after the second Anglo-Burmese War of 1885 and Oldham’s Appendix to the Yule Memoir (1858) constitutes the first comprehensive account of the geology of Central Basin of Burma. The proper geological investigation of Lower Burma was commenced by W.T. Blandford in 1860 assisted by F. Fedden. Their work was continued by W. Theobald in the 1860s and 1870s during which period, his classic work on “The Geology of Pegu” was published. During the period between the Second and Third Anglo-Burmese Wars, Mark Fryar (1872, 1882), a Mining Geologist investigated and reported periodically on the Tenasserim to the Chief Commissioner of British Burmah. The Arakan area at that time received the attention of F.R. Mallet (1882). After the annexation of Upper Burma by the British in 1885, the first systematic examination of Upper Burma was commenced by F. Noetling in 1888. Voluminous papers and reports were prepared by this observer, the most valuable of which is a large memoir figuring and describing the fossils of the “Miocene” of Burma. This work has since been revised by Vredenburg in 1921. Noetling also studied the local oil industry (1891) and its modern exploitation (1897). During this period a notable contribution was made by Brown & Judd (1895) on the Pre-Cambrian geology and mineralogy of Mogok area where the famous rubies were found.

(To Be Continued)

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