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A visit to Whitby in September 2007 gave the opportunity to explore the coastal Jurassic geology of the area from Staithes to Ravenscar. The coastal geology comprises the Lower Jurassic Lias Group whilst the higher cliffs and the adjacent Moors are formed from the Middle Jurassic Ravenscar Group. Local museums have a fine selection of Jurassic fossils of which some photographs were taken and are included in this gallery.

Of particular interest were the remains of Alum shale quarries on the cliff tops and the Jet Rock Member (a bituminous mudstone)  in the Whitby Mudstone Formation from which Jet was obtained.  At Ravenscar the line of the Peak Fault could be traced which has led to a harder sandstone headland being formed on the foreshore. Also the view from Ravenscar looking across Robin Hood's Bay showed the concentric rings in the Lias Group Redcar Mudstone Formation due to the dome uplift of this area during Tertiary times.

The first slide in the gallery gives a summary of the geological strata that are present in the Whitby area. The BGS 1:50,000 Sheets 34 (Guisborough) and 35/44 (Whitby & Scalby) refer. An excellent webpage of the geology in the Staithes area is given at  www.soton.ac.uk/~imw/staithes.htm

An account of the history of the alum making process can be found at   www.oau-oxford.com/html_pages/alum.htm 

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