Charmouth to Golden Cap

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Charmouth to Golden Cap
E
Charmouth to Golden Cap
Westhay
Water
Broom
Cliff
Eype Clay
Golden Cap
St. Gabriel’s
Mouth
We will be looking at rocks from the Lower jurassic. They are about 200-185 million years old.
These rocks represent a time when a large contintent called Pangea was beginning to break up to
produce the beginning of today’s Atlantic Ocean. Below our feet lie the red Triassic rocks which were
deposited on land in desert conditions, but these Jurassic rocks around Charmouth were deposited in
marine conditions with isolated land areas.
The shallow seas of the Lower Jurassic
W
arls
Belemnite M
Black Ven Marls
Charmouth
Gault
Stonebarrow (148m)
1 km
Eype Clay
Green Ammon
ite
Beds
We will set off in an Easterly direction and begin looking fossils in the dark grey clays of the black Ven
Marl. The rocks dip gently down to the East so we will eventually move up the sequence to the slightly
younger Belemnite Marls followed by the Green Ammonite Beds.
What can you expect to find?
This a is very popular location for fossil hunting plus there are fewer storms in Summertime to dislodge
fossils, so you will need to look very hard.
A large landslide at Charmouth in January 2006 has produced a new supply!
This stretch of coastline is famous for its well presverved ammonites.
Don’t forget to also look along the shoreline because fossils often get washed up on the beach.
In 1858 an almost complete skeleton of
a dinosaur called a Scelidosaurus was
discovered in a particular layer of the
Black Ven Marl.
It shows that there must have some land
around at this time.
The Black Ven Marl is famous for its ichthyosaur bones and more rarely insects and fish.
The nodules or “flatsones” are the places to look. Mary Anning found some of her specimens here.
As we progress along the beach away from the Black Ven Marls you might find some belemnites sticking
out of the grey clays of the Belemnite Marls.
Further West you might find brown marcasite nodules which sometimes contain ammonnites.
Also be on the lookout of crinoids, brachiopods and bivalves.

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