Sunday, 5 March 2017

#geobritainroadtrip – Millook Haven

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I have been fortunate enough to bag me a man who not only (apparently) enjoys when I go off on one about rocks, but also a man who lets me book and plan a weekend away based on what rocks I can go and visit, and drag him along to look at too. Hurrah!

I visited Millook Haven as part of a three day break down to the seaside – this location has been on my geology bucket list for a very long time, and I attempted to visit it on day one of the geoliday (geology holiday, it’s a thing) but I chickened out with the 30% incline and strong winds. On day two however, I talked myself and the car into it, and in first gear we made our way down the single lane road to Millook.

There isn’t much to Millook, it only has a few buildings and the road quickly and sharply rises again on the otherside of the valley. The cliffs however, are spectacular. This section of cliff made it into the #100Geosites list by the Geological Society of London, and it is easy to see why! The folds are AMAZING. Recumbent, tightly folded, horizontal chevron folds. This place is a geological delight. Also, if sea-worn pebbles with hydrothermal veins are your thing, this is the place to bag some mega nice samples.

The rocks here were affected by the Variscan Orogeny, which is also responsible for the folded cliffs at Hartland Quay. 

David for scale

Saturday, 4 March 2017

#geobritainroadtrip - Hartland Quay

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I have been down to Hartland Quay twice now, once with university on a field trip, and again with my partner for a geoliday. It was his first time there, and I hoped it would blow his mind – the rocks here truly are spectacular.

The rocks here are Carboniferous in age, and this location is well known for the structural geology goodness it contains. The cliffs here show vertical chevron folds; the cliff has been concertinaed and folded up, squeezed by the huge forces of the Variscan Orogeny [PDF]. The pictures truly do not do it justice; the drive down the narrow road to the car park is the first part of the fun, the rocks the second, and then the pub is third.

Be sure to visit when the tide is going out! High tide cuts it all off and you won’t be able to get anywhere near the rocks.  We got there at high tide and so went for a long walk (4 or 5 miles) and by the time we got back, the tide had gone out (and we’d worked up an appetite).

Looking along the axis of a plunging chevron fold (plunges towards the camera)