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Isle of Purbeck and Swanage - Map, draw and make notes on features associated with a concordant geology.

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Introduction

Isle of Purbeck and Swanage * Map, draw and make notes on features associated with a concordant geology. * These include: 1) Headlands at Durlston, Peveril Point and Handfast Point 2) Intervening bays especially Studland 3) Erosional Features at the Foreland 4) Double Spit at Poole Harbour Durlston At Durlston Point the Middle Purbeck limestone is clearly visible in the cliff. The Cinder Bed, a useful marker oyster bed in the middle of the Purbeck strata descends to the shore. Softer mudstones of the Lower Purbeck can be seen beneath the Middle Purbeck limestone. The scar of dumped Portland Stone beneath some flats, constructed surprisingly close to the cliff edge, covers part of the Lower Purbeck exposure and affects the scenery of the bay. Thin-bedded lagoonal limestones alternate with shales. This part of the succession is high in the Middle Purbeck Formation with plant debris and pyrite being more abundant. Kaolinite also occurs here amongst the clay minerals in this part of the succession. Some of the limestones were cemented early with early loss of aragonite and these are particularly good for showing dinosaur footprints. Other thin shell beds remain at or just below the water table and when they were buried they preserved aragonite. Peveril Point This stone headland is formed of a hard bed of limestone (known as Purbeck Marble), which runs from Herston to the west of Swanage to Peveril Point and then eastwards under the English Channel. ...read more.

Middle

On the other hand the flood, at least at the bottom, is stronger than the ebb in the upper reaches of the harbour. Thus, at both ends of the harbour there is evidence of a tendency to sweep material out of it, either up into the river mouth or out to the sea. Sediment is therefore trapped on the mudflats and salt marshes of the margins. This could be the reason why this feature has remained so long as a rather anomalous feature of the coast. The tidal regime at Poole harbour is unusual, although the total rise and fall of the tide there is not that great. The double high water, which is such a well-known feature at Southampton, is much more marked at Poole, and in fact at neap tides each month it is possible to detect "triple high water". At neap tides, however, the total range is little more than two feet (0.6m), whereas after new and full moon it rises to somewhat over six feet (1.8m). It will not be exactly the same at the South Haven Peninsula but this gives some idea of the rather limited tidal range. A consequence of this is that although there is much shallow water there is not an extensive area of exposed sand-flats or mud flats off the peninsula at low tide (such as you find in the Bristol Channel region with its high tidal ranges). Christchurch * Visit, research and make notes on coastal erosion at Barton-on-sea and the management response to the challenge of rapid erosion. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Commercial fishing - a small fishing fleet is harboured at Keyhaven. If the spit were breached, the harbour would no longer be such a safe mooring. * History - the castle (Hurst Castle) was constructed in the reign of Henry VIII to defend the country from feared invasions by the Catholic powers of Europe. It has been altered many times since it was first built and it was manned during both World Wars. Hengistbury Head Hengistbury Head is a headland and hill of about 36m in height and is situated between Christchurch Harbour and Poole Bay. It is less than one square kilometre in area and is a particularly valuable piece of unspoilt countryside. Because Hengistbury Head is notable for metalworking in Iron Age times, the archaeology and geology have a direct relationship. Iron was manufactured from the local siderite and other minerals were imported to the area for silver extraction. Gold and bronze was worked here and Kimmeridge oil shale was turned on lathes to make armlets. This map by John Lavender summarises the discoveries. It also attempts to estimate the position of the coastline 2000 years ago. Sea level in Southampton has risen at a rate of about 1 to 2mm per year (and is rising even more rapidly now). The Christchurch Harbour side of the headland would have been very different with lower sea level and this part of the harbour might have been narrower. The alluvium and salt marshes, however, would have been less developed at that time. What is very likely is that important archaeological remains lie buried under the alluvium and the salt marsh north of the headland. http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/barteros.htm http://www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/hengist.htm http://www.nelsonthornes.com/secondary/geography/essential/essen_cs1.htm ...read more.

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