West, Ian M. 2012. Geology of Great Britain - Introduction; for the Geology of the South Coast. Internet site: www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Geology-Britain.htm. Romsey and Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Southampton University, UK. Version 12th July 2012.

Geology of Great Britain - an Introduction with geological maps

Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Southampton University

Website hosted by courtesy of iSolutions, Southampton University

|Home and Contents - List of Field Guides | Introduction to Geology of the Wessex Coast |Lulworth Cove |Fossil Forest |Lyme Regis - West |Lyme Regis - East to Charmouth |Chesil Beach | Isle of Portland - General |Durlston Bay - Peveril Point, Upper Purbeck Formation | Durlston Bay -Lower Purbeck |Bridport, Dorset

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This page is an introduction to the series of webpages on the Geology of the Wessex Coast of the South of England. It is intended to provide introductory information on the geology of Great Britain. This will give the general background and facilitate understanding of the geology of the south coast. It may also prove to be of use for studies of geography and for various local studies. The first few maps show the general e general geology of Britain, the British Isles and Europe. The maps which follow show the geology of regions or counties within Britain and in more detail. These are arranged roughly from north to south. Some more detailed geological maps are provided in individual webpages on the geology of the Wessex Coast.

Note that only old maps are used here and these are only introductory and they are not intended to replace the modern geological maps of the British Geological Survey. The modern maps can be ordered over the internet and many of them are now available in digital form. For specific information on local areas refer to these new BGS maps.

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British Isles Geological Map

Old geological map of the British Isles, after Dwerryhouse, 1910

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Simplified geological map of Western Europe

Geological Map of UK

[A simplified geological map of Europe (to be replaced) shows the setting of Britain in the broader context of Europe. Notice that Scotland, Wales, Cornubia (Devon and Cornwall) and Ireland, like Brittany, consist of old hard rocks. Considered in more detail, it is true though, that Brittany consists largely of Precambrian strata which rare in Britain where the older strata are mostly Palaeozoic. The Cantabrian Mountains and surrounding areas of northeast Spain are also of old rock. These regions of hard Precambrian or Palaeozoic rocks are usually hilly moorland or mountainous regions.

The relationship of Scotland to Scandinavia is interesting. Here are old metamorphosed ("crystalline" on the old map) Precambrian and Lower Palaeozoic strata, deformed in the Caledonian Orogeny when the ancient Iapetus Ocean was closed. The northeast-southwest trending, Caledonide Mountains of Scotland and Scandinavia are separated by the North Sea formed by some Mesozoic rifting and incipient continental drift of Britain towards the west. The Caledonides have been split even more to the west, with the Mesozoic and Tertiary formation of the Atlantic Ocean separating their southwest continuation as the Appalachians of the USA. Thus in broad terms, Scotland and Wales are related to Scandinavia, and Cornubia has some relationship to Brittany, which of course in geological terms includes the Channels Islands.

In contrast the hard rock upland areas, much of southern and southeastern England consist of low ground with softer Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. This part of the country is similar to the Paris Basin and its surrounds. The geology of the sea areas around Britain are not shown here, but they largely consist of Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. Much oil occurs in traps in the North Sea. There is less in the English Channel, except near the British coast (the Wytch Farm oilfield extends into Poole Bay).]

Right: This old geological map of Great Britain shows in more detail the geology of the whole island, and also the relationship of the south coast sections to this. In general, as noted, older, harder rocks of Precambrian and Early Palaeozoic age (Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian) occur in the west and north of Britain, with younger strata towards the southeast. Very old strata occur in Scotland and relatively young strata, of Tertiary (Eocene etc) age occur in the London and Hampshire Basins, as shown in brown. East Anglia has very young, Pliocene strata.

In southwest England, Devonian and Carboniferous slates, shales, sandstones and limestone occupy an exensive area. They produce a diverse coastal scenery. An exposure of the famous fossiliferous Devonian limestone of Torquay is shown above.

Major features of southwest England are the granites batholiths, such as Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, Land End etc. These are the deep roots of acid volcanoes (the violent, explosive type). At the time of the volcanicity southwest England was situated near Newfoundland (this was, of course, long before the recent development of the Atlantic Ocean). The Dartmoor volcano can be regarded as the "Mount St. Helens" of the eastern side of the North American continent (Laurentia), and was similar associated with subduction (of the Rheic Ocean). The volcanic ash and lava reached the present site of the city of Exeter.

Permian and Triassic continental red bed facies, as shown above, are conspicuous features of the East Devon coast and give rise to the characteristic red scenery and soils. These are of desert origin when the region was in the Sahara Desert of the time and at about 15 degrees north. The Exeter area was in a central part of the great supercontinent Pangaea.

The middle stetch of the south coast, with which this set of field guides is largely concerned, consists of Mesozoic and Cenozoic strata (Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary), with Cretaceous in the southeast.

Although this map is old, there has been very little change in the geological mapping on this scale, since it was drawn. The Isle of Man is now largely shown as Ordovician rather than Cambrian. There are some name changes. For "Mountain Limestone" read Carboniferous Limestone. The Lias is Lower Jurassic, but "Lower Oolite" would now be Middle Jurassic and "Middle and Upper Oolite" is Upper Jurassic. Hastings Sands and Weald Clay are parts of the Lower Cretaceous Wealden Group. The map is basically correct.

It is recommended to purchase the modern geological maps of Great Britain in two sheets, published by the British Geological Survey. These show much more details and with modern terminology. The standard geological maps in general use are the 1:50,000 geological survey sheets, which are again obtainable from the British Geological Survey. For some regions there are special larger scale maps, and there are also offshore geology map sheets (which include the adjacent land area). For full BGS map information please see their website on United Kingdom Geological Maps.

Right: One of the many features of geological interest in Great Britain. This is the end-Carboniferous (about 280 million year old) intrusion of quartz dolerite forming the Whin Sill. The river Tees flows over this at High Force on the Alston Block. The country rock is Lower Carboniferous limestone and shales. Corals occur in this near the foot of the falls. (Photographed on an Open University - SXR260 field trip from Durham)

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Geological Maps of Selected British Regions

As an introduction, these old geological maps are provided to give the simplified geology of various regions of Britain. From these it is possible to determine broadly the age of the strata and what type of rock exposures, fossils, minerals and soils might be expected in a region. They also show how Britain has developed over geological time, with the older strata in the north and west, particularly Wales and Scotland, and with younger strata in the southeast, particularly East Anglia. This is the result of progressive tilt towards the southeast and general slow subsidence in that region.

Because the maps are old, of Victorian vintage, and because they are on a small- scale they are not precise and do not provide detailed formation boundaries. Most faults are omitted. They do show the broad outcrops of the major stratigraphical units and, incidently, they are also of some historic interest (note the many railway lines which do not now exist). They are not intended to replace the much more detailed and accurate modern geological maps available from the British Geological Survey. These newer maps show accurate formation and structural data and also information on the "drift" or Quaternary deposits, such as flood-plain silts and boulder clays. It is recommended that the appropriate modern maps be purchased for serious study or investigation of a specific area.

It should be emphasised that the old maps shown here are quite unsuitable for determing the rock type beneath, say, a specific building or building site. For instance, areas shown as Triassic sandstone on the Cheshire map are likely to have this as the dominant stratigraphical unit. However, clay beds can occur within it and Quaternary deposits, such as boulder clay, are not shown on these "solid geology" type maps. Study of a much larger scale, more detailed map is needed, as a prelude to a site survey. The British Geological Survey. may be able to help you.

Note that there have been some terminological changes since these old maps were produced. In particular the classification of the Jurassic strata is different now. The Lias has remained unchanged, but the "Lower Oolite" consisting of Inferior Oolite, Great Oolite and Cornbrash is now classified as Middle Jurassic. The so-called "Middle Oolite" and the "Upper Oolite" is now all Upper Jurassic. The Upper Jurassic now consists of the upper part of the Oxford Clay, the Corallian, the Kimmeridge Clay and the Portland Group. Apart from this there have been some changes in detail. Various names "Beds" have become Groups or Formations. The "Fluvio-Marine Series" is now the Solent Group and the Eocene/Oligocene boundary is within it, not at the base. The Precambrian (note - one word now) is mostly Proterozoic and not Archaean. In a broad sense the maps are quite satisfactory, provided the Oolite/Jurassic problem is remembered. In any case, they are better than more detailed maps for "seeing the wood for the trees".

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Geological Maps of Scotland

(with some brief introductory information)

Geological Map of Northern Scotland

Much of northern Scotland is occupied by old hard rocks, listed in the legend of the map as 27 - "Archaean (Pre-Cambrian) and Metamorphic; 27a Torridonian". These strata are indeed largely Precambrian, perhaps with some Cambrian, but not necessarily as old as Archaean. Not indicated on the map, but trending northeast-southwest through Loch Ness and the Moray Firth is the Great Glen Fault. North of this these old strata are largely classified as the Moine succession and are relatively older (Anderton et.al., 1979) . The Torridonian deposits in the northwest represent late Precambrian red beds, an interesting facies of hematite-stained sandstones. To the south of the Great Glen Fault the area of unit 27 largely shows the outcrop of the Dalradian Supergroup. This is a very interesting succession of predominantly late Precambrian age (Proterozoic) which includes both evidence of ancient glaciation (the Port Askaig Tillite) and, in contrast, pseudomorphs after gypsum in some beds.

Notice the late Silurian - Devonian granites in the southeast of the area. These were emplaced in the final stages of the dramatic closure of the ancient Iapetus ocean (Anderton et.al., 1979) . The two margins of this northeast-southwest trending ocean came together by plate tectonic movements and slow continental drift. The areas of England and Wales (previously far to the south in the latitude of about New Zealand today) and Scotland (in tropical latitudes) were joined approximately on the line of the Solway Firth. In the Caledonian Orogeny, which resulted, there was much volcanism, and the emplacement of the granitic magma. Much later erosion of the surrounding strata left the hard granites as uplands, such as the Cairngorm Mountains. In the Aberdeen and Peterhead area the granite has been much quarried for building stone.

Note the Devonian or Old Red Sandstone (23) in Caithness and other areas in the northeast. This region is famous for the fish beds which occur at certain horizons and attracted the attention of the well-known early geologist and best-selling author Hugh Miller.

Igneous rocks, shown in red, in the islands of Skye and Rum are early Tertiary volcanics. These originated when north-west Scotland was close to the early mid-Atlantic ridge as the North Atlantic was first opening (equivalent position to Iceland at the present day). Shown mostly in yellow on Skye and Raasay are limited areas of Jurassic marine and lagoonal sediments. These are fossiliferous sandstones and shales and can be correlated with Jurassic strata in the main outcrops of Dorset, the Midlands and Yorkshire.

Geological Map of southern Scotland

The southern part of Scotland which this map presents consists of three main parts. The northern part, the Highlands are a southern continuation of the ancient and metamorphosed Dalradian strata shown in the previous map (above). The upland areas result from the resistance to erosion by these hard rocks. To the west, on the coast in Mull and elsewhere there are the Tertiary igneous rocks again. The middle part of the map area is the Midland Valley of Scotland. Here there is Old Red Sandstone of Devonian age, much Carboniferous including Carboniferous Limestone and Coal Measures and also volcanic rocks. This trough is fault-bounded, although the Highland Boundary Fault (to the north) and the Southern Uplands Fault (to the south) are not shown on this particular map. You can estimate their approximate trends, but you need to consult larger scale maps for the exact positions. Notice in the west the fascinating Isle of Arran, so popular with geologists. There are a wide variety of rock units here (why is this?), including igneous rocks, and they are well-exposed. The third and southermost part is the Southern Uplands. These consist largely of Silurian strata with some granites, although other stratigraphical units are also involved.

Again, it should be emphasised that the maps shown here do not give details, and it worth while to study the quite complicated and very detailed 1:50,000 or one inch to one mile Geological Survey Sheets of Scotland.

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Geological map of North Wales

Geological map of South Wales

Enlarged geological map of southwestern part of South Wales

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Geological Maps of Northern England

North Cumberland Geology Map

Lake District Geology Map

Northumberland Geology Map

Durham Geology Map

Geological maps of West Yorkshire & Lancashire

Geological map of the Yorkshire Coast

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Shropshire and its Origins in Avalonia

Stormy weather at the quartzite ridge of the Stiperstones, Shropshire, England

The Devil's Chair at the Stiperstones of Arenigian quartzite, Shropshire, England

Part of Avalonia - the Long Mynd, Shropshire, England, 2008

The Planet of the Trilobites - Earth in the early Ordovician Period, with its palaeogeography

Shropshire Geological Map

Geological Map of Shropshire, Solid Geology, 1904

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Staffordshire Geological Map

Warwickshire Geological Map

Nottinghamshire Geological Map

Cheshire Geological Map

Derbyshire Geological Map

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Geological Maps of the Midlands of England

Herefordshire Geology Map

Gloucestershire Geology Map

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Geology of Leicestershire

Leicester Geology Map

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Geological map of Lincolnshire

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Geological map of Oxfordshire

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Geological map of Northampton

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Geological map of Cambridgeshire

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Geological Maps of Southeast and Eastern England

Geological map of Middlesex

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Geological map of Essex

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Geological map of Norfolk

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Part of the geological map of Sidmouth, Devon, 1906 edition

Part of the old geological map of Sidmouth, Devon, 1906 edition, including the area around Ladram Bay, East Devon

Current British Geological Survey map of Sidmouth, Devon, and associated explanatory booklet

Old, small-scale geological map of Devon

Part of the 1913 Geological Survey map, Sheet 339, Teignmouth, Devon, Drift edition

Old geology map of Dawlish to Budleigh Salterton, Devon, including Exmouth

A generalised geological map of southwest England and the adjacent English Channel

Part of the 1913 Geological Survey map, Sheet 339, Teignmouth, Devon, Drift edition

A simplified and generalised geological map of Torquay, Devon

Part of old geological map, 1913, of Torquay, Devon

Part of the 1913 edition of the geological map of the Torquay area is shown above. This is the Drift Edition, at one inch to one statute mile, surveyed on the six inch scale by W.A.E. Ussher. It was published with Drift in June 1898 and additions were made in 1912. The underlying topographic, Ordnance Survey Map was surveyed in 1861 to 1889 and revised in 1908-1909. It was reprinted without alteration in 1953. The modern replacement, shown below, has differences with regard to faults, and has more detail and modern nomenclature. The new map is essential for specialist and research work and for specific details with regard to building and property; it should be purchased from the BGS. The old map is still usable for introductory and elementary educational purposes. In general, the new map is more likely to be correct. Some faults and fine details will always be a matter of opinion, though. In the built-up area some exposures in old quarries etc may have been visible in the past but are not now exposed. Thus it is always good to consult both new and old editions when studying an area.

The British Geological Survey, Geological Map, Sheet 350, Solid and Drift, Torquay, Devon, and Explanatory Booklet - Geology of the Torquay District

When considered in more detail, the geology of the Torquay area is quite complicated and not as simple as at Teignmouth and Dawlish to the northeast. The British Geological Survey map shows much faulting and some folding. The complications are to be expected because much of the area consists of strata below the Permian and has thus been involved in the Hercynian Orogeny. The current BGS sheet, as shown above, is Torquay, 350, Solid and Drift, 1:50:000 Series, published 2004, and is available with an explanatory booklet by Leveridge et al. (2003). Purchase of the map and explanatory booklet is recommended and they are necessary items for anyone studying the area.

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A generalised geological map of southwest England and the adjacent English Channel

Geological map of Cornwall

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The 2005 edition of the British Geological Survey, Bridport Sheet, 327, Bedrock and Superficial Deposits

A prerequisite for a geological visit to Bridport, Eype, Burton Bradstock, Charmouth, Beaminster or adjacent areas is the British Geological Survey map, Sheet 327. So too is the new memoir - British Geological Survey Memoir (2011), Geology of South Dorset. (Note that it includes Charmouth and east of Charmouth, including St. Gabriels Mouth and Golden Cap, but not Lyme Regis).


British Geological Survey (BGS). (Compiler Wood, M.A.) 2011. Geology of South Dorset and South-East Devon and its World Heritage Coast.

The cover of the 2011 South Dorset Memoir of the British Geological Survey

An example page from the British Geological Survey, South Dorset Memoir, 2011

Special Memoir for 1:50,000 geological sheets 328 Dorchester, 342 West Fleet and Weymouth and 342/343 Swanage and parts of sheets 326/340 Sidmouth, 327 Bridport, 329 Bournemouth and 330 Newton Abbott. Compile by M.A. Woods. By Barton, C.M., Woods, M.A., Bristow, C.R., Newell, A.J., Westhead, R.K., Evans, D.J., Kirby G.A., and Warrington, G. Contributors: Biostratigraphy - J.B. Riding; Stratigraphy - E.C. Freshney; Economic Geology - D.E. Highley and G.K. Lott; Engineering Geology - A. Forster and A. Gibson. British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, 2011. 161 pp. This is the new version of the Geological Survey Memoir for the Dorset Coast etc. and replaces Arkell (1947) and the earlier memoir by Strahan (1898). It covers a wider area than these old memoirs, though, and includes all of "Jurassic Coast", UNESCO World Heritage Coast. It is a key reference work. Available from BGS Online Bookshop at 24 pounds stirling (in Jan. 2012).


Geological map of Dorset and Somerset

Map by Damon - Geology of central and eastern Dorset

Geology of the Isle of Purbeck - Damon, 1884

Old geological map (1895) of Chapman's Pool, and St. Aldhelm's Head area, Dorset, England

Geological map of the Swanage, Isle of Purbeck, area, based on an 1895 edition

Geological map showing the remarkable extent of erosion of Portland strata offshore from the south of the Isle of Purbeck, including Dancing Ledge, near Swanage, Isle of Purbeck, Dorset

The 2000 edition of the 1:50,000 British Geological Survey Map, Swanage, Sheet 343 and part of 342, Solid and Drift - including the Isle of Purbeck and Lulworth Cove

A geological map of the Ridgeway Cutting, Bincombe Tunnel, Upwey and part of the site of the Weymouth Relief Road, Dorset, modified after Arkell (1937)

A geological map of Lyme Regis, Dorset, from the 1950s

A 1906 geological map of Lyme Regis, Dorset, part of the old Sidmouth Sheet of the Geological Survey

Geological map - east of Lyme Regis

Map of the Blue Lias ledges on the east side of Lyme Regis, Dorset, after Lang (1914)

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Geological map of Hampshire

Index and history of the British Geological Survey, geological maps of the New Forest, Southampton, and adjacent regions

Old geological map of Southampton Water, Hampshire, southern England

Simplified geological map of the New Forest

Geological map of the northeastern part of the New Forest, part of Sheet 315, Southampton, old edition, annotated

Old geological map of the eastern part of the New Forest, including Hythe, Dibden and Beaulieu Road Station, annotated, and after part of the 1899 edition of Sheet 315, Southampton

Geological map of the central part of the New Forest, including Lyndhurst, Ashurst and Beaulieu Road Station, modified and annotated after part of Sheet 315, Southampton

The geology of the Beaulieu River estuary, Hampshire, as surveyed in 1893, and with some updating

Late Victorian geological map of the Lepe area, Hampshire

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Isle of Wight

Old geological map of the Isle of Wight

A generalised geological map of the central English Channel from the Isle of Wight to the Cherbourg Peninsula

Hampshire Geology Map

Simplified geological map of the Isle of Wight Old geological map, I.O.W. Geology of the western I.O.W Geology of the eastern I.O.W

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English Channel

A generalised geological map of the central English Channel from the Isle of Wight to the Cherbourg Peninsula

A generalised geological map of southwest England and the adjacent English Channel

A generalised map showing the approximate location of oil shale resources offshore from the Dorset coast

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Geological map of Sussex

Old, simplified, geological map of Sussex and Surrey with some additional notes regarding oil and gas

Only an old map of the geology of Sussex is provided here, with a larger revised version. More will be added later. For information on petroleum geology of Sussex go to:
Petroleum Geology, South of England.

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Geological map of Kent

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Southeast England - Historic Map of Gideon Mantell

Part of Mantell's old geological map of southeast England

This early 19th Century geological map of southeast England is of considerable historic interest. It is a classic map which shows amongst other features the geology of Tilgate Forest in the Weald, where the wife of Dr Mantell was the first person to discover the remains of a dinosaur. The name "Dinosaur" - "Terrible Lizard" came from this find of a tooth like that of the Iguana lizard but of very large size.

I am very grateful to Dr Ronald Austin for the original coloured map and sections by Dr Gideon Mantell. Note, incidently, that the "Limestone of Ashburnham" is now know as the Purbeck Formation (or Group) of mostly Cretaceous age, the Hastings Sands and Weald Clay are part of the Lower Cretaceous Wealden Group. The "Shanklin Sand" is Lower Greensand (Cretaceous), the "Galt" is the Gault Clay (Upper Cretaceous), the "Firestone" is Upper Greensand (Albian, Upper Cretaceous), the Chalk is labelled as such and the "Plastic Clay and Sand" is the Reading Formation of Palaeocene age.

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Footnote: Quiz on the Maps Above

These questions, mainly for amusement, are based on any of the geological maps above. In most cases they can be answered directly by use of the maps, although a general background knowledge of British geology would certainly help. I am afraid that I have not provided the answers here, but sufficient study of the maps should solve the problems.

1. Where was a Roman gold mine?

2. A lighthouse on gneiss, to the east of serpentine?

3. A dead hyaena and rhinoceras but not in Wales?

4. Some granite in soft rock at a place of seals?

5. A black lead mine near a pencil-making town?

6. A vegetarian dinosaur near a submerged forest on the coast of shipwrecks?

7. Ancient faeces near a Georgian market town?

8. Ornamental black wood and some foliage?

9. A whirlpool between very old rock?

10. A starfish near a cap of gold?

11. A dry island of Lias with a church?

12. Another gold mine; this one near a volcano?

13. The source of marine shells high on a Moel?

14. The Dudley Locust on the south coast of England?

15. No coal but culm, near a sharp nose?

16. Old Asian fruits of a clay island?

17. The pit of "Kangeroo Rats" and crocodiles?

18. What is the island of the Yars?

19. Where are elephants near a chain pier?

20. Where are the axes of the Axe?

21. Last of the Labyrinthodonts, near a tunnel?

22. Bony fertiliser from the greensand?

23. Which rock is at Gogmagog?

24. Beavers of the bogs. Where were they?

25. Age of the Peel Sandstone?

26. Age of the goniatites of Poolvash?

27. Where is the Iapetus Suture, north of some volcanics?

28. On which rock unit is Windsor Castle built?

29. Is Windsor Castle on an inlier or an outlier?

30. In which river valley has the Taplow Terrace originated?

31. What is the age of the iron-ore near Banbury?

32. What is the age of the Cyrena bed of Reading?

33. Countless sponges, north of a horse. Where?

34. On what sand is Sandhurst on?

35. Where are there fish of an old Kara Bogaz?

36. Where is there a New Red Sandstone overstep in northeast England?

37. Where are there dykes in the Coal Measures of northeast England?

38. What semi-precious stone comes from a mine near Mam Tor?

39. Which sulphate was worked at Chellaston?

40. Which species of Hippopotamus lived in the Thames?

41. A bone-bed near a bridge not shown. Locality?

42. A drowning meander on Lias?

43. Town on an outlier near Lower Slaughter?

44. Why are there oak trees in an old forest south of Marlborough?

45. A long-necked saurian of Swindon?

46. Some "Greywethers" of Marlborough Downs may be in which monument?

47. Strata beneath Oxford Clay named from a village near Chippenham?

48. Coral reef near Mesozoic ironstone?

49. Of economic value in the Forest of Dean?

50. A Hugh Miller, wide-headed, fish from Pontrilas and Ledbury area?

51. The Lower Kimmeridgian ammonite Rasenia is named after which town?

52. Where in the Midlands is there old syenite and granite?

53. What can be found on the beach north of Gibralter Point?

54. Where on the coast is there Red Chalk?

55. At which town might you find a paramoundra?

56. On which rock is the Roman Wall built?

57. A Lower Cretaceous Lincolnshire ironstone?

58. The age of the ironstone of Corby?

59. The ancient weathered land which supplied iron to the Midlands ironstones?

60. Elephas meridionalis occurs in which famous "Forest Bed"?

61. The blocked mouth of a Yare not a Yar?

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References and Select Bibliography

(Publications will added to this)

Anderton, R., Bridges, P.H., Leeder, M.R. and Sellwood, B.W. 1979. A Dynamic Stratigraphy of the British Isles; A Study in Crustal Evolution. George Allen and Unwin, Boston, Sydney. 301pp. ISBN 0-04-551028-8 Pbk. Extract from preface: "This text focuses on the geological events that led to the evolution of the small but complex part of the Earth's crust now called the British Isles. The level of treatment assumes a minimum background knowledge equivalent to a first-year course in geology at university." There is much useful data packed into the diagrams and in the text. There is a good reference list, up to the date of publication, but obviously it would be wise to use this in conjunction with a later publication to obtain updated information. This book, often easy to find in university libraries, is still very useful for second year university level studies and beyond, and for reference purposes.
Earp, J.R., Hains, B.A. 1971. British Regional Geology: The Welsh Borderland. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office. Base on previous editions by Pocock, R.W. and Whitehead, T.H. 118pp.
Open University. 2001. The Geological History of the British Isles. SXR260. Science: a level 2 course. 135pp. Prepared for the Course Team by Arlene Hunter.
Pearce, A. 1995 (reprinted 2000). Mining in Shropshire. Shropshire Books. 98pp. Edited by Adrian Pearce, Shropshire Mining and Caving Club.
Pocock, R.W. and Whitehead, T.H. 1948. British Regional Geology: The Welsh Borderland. Second Edition. London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office. 82pp.

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I am very grateful to my daughter Joanna Bentley, to Ben Bentley, Daniel Bentley, Max Bentley and Sam Bentley for accomodation and help with fieldwork in Shropshire. I much appreciate help in the field from many geologists and geology students.

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Copyright © 2012 Ian West, Catherine West, Tonya West and Joanna Bentley. All rights reserved. This is a purely academic website and images and text may not be copied for publication or for use on other webpages or for any commercial activity. A reasonable number of images and some text may be used for non-commercial academic purposes, including field trip handouts, lectures, student projects, dissertations etc, providing source is acknowledged.

Disclaimer: Geological fieldwork involves some level of risk, which can be reduced by knowledge, experience and appropriate safety precautions. Persons undertaking field work should assess the risk, as far as possible, in accordance with weather, conditions on the day and the type of persons involved. In providing field guides on the Internet no person is advised here to undertake geological field work in any way that might involve them in unreasonable risk from cliffs, ledges, rocks, sea or other causes. Not all places need be visited and the descriptions and photographs here can be used as an alternative to visiting. Individuals and leaders should take appropriate safety precautions, and in bad conditions be prepared to cancell part or all of the field trip if necessary. Permission should be sought for entry into private land and no damage should take place. Attention should be paid to weather warnings, local warnings and danger signs. No liability for death, injury, damage to, or loss of property in connection with a field trip is accepted by providing these websites of geological information. Discussion of geological and geomorphological features, coast erosion, coastal retreat, storm surges etc are given here for academic and educational purposes only. They are not intended for assessment of risk to property or to life. No liability is accepted if this website is used beyond its academic purposes in attempting to determine measures of risk to life or property.

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Dr Ian West, author of these webpages

Webpage - written and produced by:

Ian West, M.Sc. Ph.D. F.G.S.


at his private address in Hampshire, kindly supported by Southampton University, and web-hosted by courtesy of iSolutions of Southampton University.