CDT Student wins prestigious award for new open-source repository of virtual outcrops and samples

Adam Cawood, a University of Aberdeen student in the 2015 CDT cohort, has won the BP Prize for best overall student contribution to the Tectonic Studies Group annual meeting 2018. Adam won the prize for eRocK, a project co-founded with his PhD supervisor, Dr Clare Bond, that provides virtual outcrops and samples in an open-source, online repository.


eRocK is a resource created for education, public engagement in Earth Science and research. Virtual outcrops are increasingly used for geological research, and are a key part of a number of CDT students’ projects, including Adam’s. While this technology marks an important change in the way geoscience is carried out, this data is often not accessible to other researchers and the wider public. eRocK aims to provide an open access platform to share virtual geology projects with fellow researchers, the wider public, and with students and educators. Currently users can browse virtual outcrops and samples by theme, location or through a virtual field-trip interface. eRocK encourages others to contribute their own 3D data, make virtual field-trips or write descriptions for key outcrops.

This collaborative approach will hopefully encourage users from a range of backgrounds to experience the variety and richness of geology.