Scarborough Strata #7

One of the great things about geology is that it is visible everywhere you look, even if there are no rocks, cliffs or beaches in sight. This is because it literally underpins all of the world around us, from the forces that build and shape our landscape, to the building stones used for our houses, though to controlling the very soils that we grow our crops in. We are very lucky living on such spectacular coastline where we can see plenty of geology, but it is also interesting to keep your eyes open for some more hidden geology.

The first example I want to give you is our very own Castle Headland. Have you ever wondered why it is there? Essentially the headland exists due to a series of geological faults, active millions of years ago that literally dropped the great mass of the Headland down, putting the harder rocks that form the Headland alongside softer rocks either side. The softer rocks have then eroded more quickly, giving us the two Bays of the town. The geological fault responsible for this movement runs right under the Castle gatehouse, but is has been inactive for many millions of years, so no earthquakes to worry about!

Another classic local example of hidden geology is our local building stones, it perhaps seems obvious, but local villages gather much of their distinctiveness from their local building stone, so the honey coloured middle Jurassic sandstones (the very same age rocks as those that contain dinosaur footprints) of places like Burniston and Cloughton are very different to the villages on the edge of the Wolds, where chalk, flint and brick dominate. Town centres are also great places to spot geology, and in particular keep an eye on the floors of new shopping centres, they are often home to spectacular polished limestones, marbles and other beautiful geology.

We are now busy with all our summer trips, so if you would like to see some of our stunning local geology then visit our website and see if there is a trip you fancy.

First produced in Issue 24 of The Scarborough Review

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