Field Guide to Dorset
A pictorial summary of some of the best coastal localities for geology along the Dorset coastline.
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This page is mainly a pictorial guide to the Geology of Dorset, the photographs having been taken during the Easter holidays, 2001, during the foot and mouth outbreak in the UK, and after one of the wettest winters ever. The consequences of these factors were that many of the coastal locations such as Kimmeridge Bay were not open to the public, that there were many new landslips and mudflows and that many of the clays and mudflows were still saturated and dangerous to walk on.
Location 1, Studland Bay
Location 2, Swanage
Location 3, Lulworh Cove
At Lulworth Cove the Chalk, Greensand, Wealden, Purbeck and Portland rock types of Upper Juarassic and Cretaceous age are visible. These have been folded and are now nearly vertical in many places, being one limb of the Purbeck Monocline. Lulwork Cove itself has formed from the sea eroding through the harder Portland and Purbeck beds at a slow rate and then eroding the much softer Wealden and Greensand beds at a much faster rate, the rate of erosion once again slowing at the rear wall of the cove which is formed of Chalk.
Location 4, Overcombe
Location 5, Isle of Portland
Location 6, Chesil Beach
Location 7, Burton Bradstock (Burton Cliff East)
The Bride fault separates the Bridport Sands to the west from the Frome Clay to the east of the gap.
Location 8, Charmouth
Location 9, Lyme Regis
Looking from the wavecut platform below Black Ven to the cliffs of Stonebarrow Hill (midground) and Golden Cap (background). Note the lighter coloured Upper Greensand cap of Golden cap. Below the Upper Greensand is the Gault Clay which sits unconformably on beds of Lower Jurassic age. major landslips and mudflows are present along these cliffs.
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