The Coastal Landforms of West Dorset


Geologists’ Association Guide No 47

By Robert J Allison

West Dorset is rightly famous for its fossils, but few people visit its wonderful, fossiliferous cliffs to look at them as landforms, rather than as an apparently endless source of ammonites and belemnites. This guide does just that and covers a series of itineraries in the context of landform type.

In this way, the guide covers such topics as ‘denudational history’, ‘landscape types and processes’ and ‘coastal sediment supply and transport’, along with the general geology of the area and a series of itineraries illustrating the geology and said denudational history along the coastline of West Dorset.

As The Coastal Landforms of West Dorset explains, this most beautiful coast is also world famous for its spectacular recurrent landslides and the causes of these are fully explored together with their effects on shingle movement at beach level, the latter and best known being Chesil Beach.

In fact, Dorset coast has many sites of key geomorphological importance. Therefore, in particular, the guide covers:

  • Stonebarrow Hill.
  • Black Hill.
  • Urban landslides, including at Lyme Regis.
  • Chesil Beach.

The Coastal Landforms of West Dorset, Guide No 47, by Robert J Allison, The Geologists’ Association, London (1992), 134 pages (paperback), ISBN: 070730623X

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