Rocks, fossils, and pebbles on the beach at Seatown in Dorset February 2018. On previous visits to Seatown, I knew that sloping layers of soft rock passed from the base of the cliffs down towards the sea but they were hidden from sight by small pebbles and only visible when the tide went out. On this visit, the pebbles had been shifted around so that a wide band of the grey rock was exposed at mid-shore level. You could see fossils such as belemnites and ammonites embedded in the rock, which was fortunate because fossil rich locations that are normally showing on the lowest part of the cliff had been obscured by recent mud slides and rock falls over winter. Phosphatic nodules (also known as ironstone or sideritic mudstone) could also be seen with the fossils in this part of the Charmouth Mudstone Formation.

13 Replies to “On the Beach at Seatown (1)”

  1. I think the pebbles move around a lot on this beach and it would not have needed the severity of a storm to uncover the grey rock platform, which is not far below the surface. Usually you have to wait for the tide to ebb before seeing the bare rock low down on the shore, as in this image Bare rock at low tide in Seatown in Dorset, England.

  2. It is almost otherwordly, I think. This environment is its own thing, if that makes any sense – it seems self-sufficient, its pattern complete and all the parts fitting together to make a very distinct place like no other.

  3. The coast in Dorset is part of the World Heritage site known as the Jurassic Coast because of its special geological interest. Seatown is part of this. However, seashores everywhere have a great appeal and a dynamic present life as well as recording events from deep history.

  4. Our nearest shore in NJ originally was flat and marshy with barrier islands, all now obliterated in development over the past 50 or so years. And with storms more frequent, the coastline is changing very quickly but then man attempts to return it to previous conditions, bringing in sand, etc. (until it gets impossible and houses fall into the ocean). I find it interesting to reflect on how nature will always win out and seeks to return the land to what it wants to be in its particular set of circumstances. We think the shores are eternal but the change is happening in front of us.

  5. Yes, Claudia. Our coastlines are demonstrating just how much physical change is taking place. It always has been in dynamic process but now everything seems to be accelerating.

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