Geology of the Yorkshire Coast (4th edition)


Geologists’ Association Guide No 34

By Peter F Rawson and John K Wright

This is the much anticipated 4th edition of the GA’s Yorkshire Coast guide and it was well worth the wait. From personal experience, I was aware that the previous editions were extremely good for any geologist – professional, academic or amateur – who is attracted by the wonderful scenery and fascinating geology of this part of the UK coastline.

However, this new edition is altogether an even better product. The full colour photographs, diagrams and maps make for an entertaining and informative read, and a new chapter using seismic profiles provides additional information not in previous editions.

Like all GA guides, Geology of the Yorkshire Coast introduces the geology of the Yorkshire Coast in an accessible and readable style, including coverage of its structure, stratigraphy, palaeogeography and environments, and its industrial history. It then provides 17 excursions covering areas from Staithes in the north to South Holderness in the south.

This takes in all the obvious areas that any fossil collector in the area will know – like Staithes to Port Mulgrave, Saltwick Bay to Whitby, Speeton and Flamborough Head – but also includes some new locations, such as Betton Farm Quarries, which is a SSSI. I was lucky enough to visit this fascinating site with the authors, who showed us why this excellently exposed localised, coral reef from the Upper Jurassic was worth including in the guide. (There is also an excellent charity-run tearoom and restaurant to visit after looking at the rocks.)

Pete Rawson spent his academic career in London University, where he became Professor of Geology at UCL and is now Emeritus Professor there. He has researched extensively on Late Jurassic to early Cretaceous global biogeography, palaeogeography, sea levels and climate, and has worked on Early Cretaceous ammonites. He retired to Scarborough in 2006, where he continues to work on the geology of the Yorkshire coast. John Wright was curator in the Earth Science Department at Royal Holloway College, where he has continued as honorary research fellow and visiting lecturer. He has written extensively on the geology of northeast Yorkshire and is a Yorkshire Geological Society Sorby Medallist.

Geology of the Yorkshire Coast: Geologists’ Association Guide No 34 (4th edition), by Peter F Rawson and John K Wright, The Geologists’ Association (2019), London, 178 pages (paperback), ISBN: 9780900717956

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