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How the Carboniferous, Variscan Orogeny and Quaternary affect the geology of the Gower Peninsula

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How the Carboniferous, Variscan Orogeny and Quaternary affect the geology of the Gower Peninsula Sam Macpherson 13G Contents Introduction 3 Plan 4 Analysis 5-12 Conclusion 13 Introduction The Gower is about 70 square miles in area, its well known for its coastline, popular with walkers, surfers and outdoor enthusiasts. There are many caves on the Gower, including Paviland Cave and Minchin Hole Cave. To the north of the peninsula is the Loughor Estuary and to the east is Swansea Bay. On the south coast there?s a series of small, rocky or sandy bays, such as Langland and Three Cliffs, and larger beaches such as Port Eynon, Rhossili and Oxwich Bay. The north coast has fewer beaches, and is home to the cockle-beds of Penclawdd. The main area we visited here was the south coast with Caswell and Three Cliffs being studied most closely. The aim of the trip was to look at what aspects of the Carboniferous, Variscan Orogeny, and Quaternary were present in the area, and how it affects the geology. ...read more.


These are formed around a central nucleus (such as a fragment of shell, or a sand-grain). The layers of lime are concentric, like the leaves of an onion. Some of them appeared rough, this is due to weathering. Ooliths are characteristic of shallow carbonate sandbanks close to the zone which is affected by wave-action at surface. This continual agitation moves the ooliths about and wears the precipitates that form on its exterior into a perfect, bead-like sphericity. From the oolitic texture of the rock we concluded that it was an Oolite, and named it Caswell Bay Oolite due to its location in Caswell Bay. Caswell Bay Thrust In Caswell Bay, there?s a small thrust known as the ?Caswell Bay Thrust? the formation of this is explained in the above diagram. Eastern side of Caswell Bay towards Whiteshell Point Whilst still maintaining a fair distance from the cliff, we walked on to the 'corner', where the bay opens out suddenly. ...read more.


These included beaches, point bars, flood plains, sand dunes, storm beaches and salt marshes. At the storm beach we took clast measurements to show the direction of current when the rocks were deposited. The results can be found in the rose diagram below. ________________ Conclusion All the rock types present at Caswell Bay are carboniferous, and were formed in the same conditions as we currently have in the Bahamas, very warm, tropical, marine, shallow environment. There would have been a lot of animal and plant life at the time, this is shown in the High Tor Limestone with it being very fossiliferous. The mudstone and Oolite were formed around the same location during the same period in time, but they would?ve had slightly different pressures during their formation. The trip to Three Cliffs Bay was also helpful, it showed us what modern sedimentary environments are in the United Kingdom, and more specifically South Wales. It gave us an idea about how rock formations are going on right under our nose, and how there can be so many different environments in an extremely small space. ...read more.

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