Jurassic Cliffs of Wales

November 06, 2003


Provided by: Peter Burgess, Shell E&P
Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek; Peter Burgess

These cliffs are of Lower Jurassic strata on the coast of the Bristol Channel near Southerdown, about 30 km (about 18 miles) to the southwest of Cardiff, Wales. The strata are interbedded limestones and shales, deposited during the Early Jurassic in a shallow tropical sea that covered much of the area at the time. Debate is ongoing regarding the diagenetic versus primary depositional origins of the bedding. The wave-cut platform exposes the strata in plan-view and often shows exceptionally well-exposed fracture patterns. This area of the Welsh coast experiences very large tidal variations - up to 16 meters (over 50 feet).

Related Links: