Geology – Ground Zero Start of the Yorkshire Dales

Hardraw 001

Geology Base Camp

  • Most of the Yorkshire Dales gets it appeal from carboniferous formations resting on a platform of ancient hard rock called the Askrigg Block.
  • Some old rock formed from originally molten granite can be seen in the river glens of the Greta and the Twiss.
  • Great scar limestone are the formations that overlay the ancient land at Thornton force.
  • The cliffs at Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Kilnsey Crag are some 400 feet thick.
  • At intervals there are flat partings or bedding planes marking the the old sea bed that can be seen from around Kettlewell.
  • Earths pressure has cracked the limestone in a cross cross pattern of near vertical fissures and the rain through the ages has developed the fretted pavements or clints.
  • Shade loving plants live in some of the crevices above MalhamCove and on Ingleborough a mountain stream has created and plunges down Gaping Gill to a cave larger than the the nave at York Minster.

Book Cover

Dales Drainage

Recent heavy rain fall has demonstrated what made our landscape what it is today. Check out Hardraw force or Thornton force to see the power of water.
In limestone areas much of the drainage runs underground in cavern systems.
Where these streams emerge, at Clapham Common or MalhamCove Cove, for example water gushes out as a fully fledged stream. This water contains dissolved calcium carbonate which is then redeposited as spongy layers of tufa like those at Gordale

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