Cliff strata at Kimmeridge Bay

The cliffs at Kimmeridge Bay in Dorset, UK, are characterised by alternating hard and soft strata. Multiple thin layers of softer shale rock are sandwiched between wide bands of harder limestone. When the shales crumble and erode out, the heavy limestone becomes unsupported, often projecting as a jagged sill from the cliff face, and dangerously prone to falling onto the beach.

In each of these photographs a projecting ledge of limestone has broken away fairly recently, perhaps in the last decade. The vertical surface is more or less flush with that of the shales above and below it in the sequence. In the last picture, Kimmeridge Rocks 6, you can see that the shales below the hard band have started to erode back once more (indicated by the dark shadow on the right cast by the overhanging limestone).

Cliff strata at Kimmeridge Bay

Cliff strata at Kimmeridge Bay


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5 Replies to “Kimmeridge Rocks 4-6”

  1. Thank you. Nowhere near as interesting and colourful as the lovely birds at Abaco that you have been photographing lately – but I love the look, feel, and history of the rocks at Kimmeridge and all along Dorset’s Jurassic Coast nonetheless.


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