The geology of Kennack Sands on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall is both fascinating and frustrating. You really do need to be on the beaches at the right state of tide or you miss out on seeing the places described as textbook examples of the rocks. During my Christmas visit, both the tides and the weather conspired to confound my efforts to get to the right locations. Nevertheless, I was able to fine some beautiful rock textures and patterns, and see wonderful rock types new to my experience, even though I am not sure exactly what I am looking at except in general terms. I’ll just have to go back, won’t I?
According to Simon Camm (2011) in his book The Geology and Landscape of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the geology of Kennack Sands is mostly peridotite altered to highly coloured red and green serpentinite minerals together with more unaltered ultrabasic rocks of dark green to black peridotite. There is also Kennack Gneiss which is red and black coloured with a banded appearance, and an asbestos mineral occurring in veins in the cliff, as well as green soapstone (saponite). However, there are lots of variations and sub-formations within the major rock types, so I am unsure of the identity of the rocks in these pictures for the moment.