Monday, 12 September 2011

Flamborough Head

Going on a geography trip and running an art trip to the East coast of Yorkshire, one of the locations is Flamborough Head.

The most striking aspect of Flamborough Head are the white chalk cliffs that surround it. The chalk lies in distinct horizontal layers, formed from the remains of tiny sea creatures millions of years ago. Above the chalk at the top of the cliffs is a layer of till (glacial deposits) left behind by glaciers 18,000 years ago, during the last ice age. As the cliffs below are worn away by the action of the waves, the clay soil often falls into the sea in huge landslips.

The hills are formed from Cretaceous chalk, and make an arc from the Humber estuary west of Kingston upon Hull up to the North Sea coast between Bridlington and Scarborough. Here they rise up to form cliffs, most notably at Flamborough, Bempton Cliffs and Filey; Flamborough Headland is designated a Heritage Coast. On the other side of the Humber, the chalk formations continue as the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Most of the area takes the form of an elevated, gently rolling plateau, cut by numerous deep, steep-sided, flat-bottomed valleys of glacial origin. The chalk formation of the hills provides exceptionally good drainage, with the result that most of these valleys are dry; indeed, surface water is quite scarce throughout the Wolds. Typically the valleys are hard to see from above, creating the visual impression that the landscape is much flatter than is actually the case

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