Folded strata in Stair Hole cliffs, Dorset

Folded strata in Stair Hole cliffs, Dorset

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Credit: MARTIN BOND/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: View of cliffs at Stair Hole, near Lulworth, Dorset, UK, showing folded rock strata. The layers of Jurassic rock, originally deposited in horizontal beds, have been folded and tilted as a result of the collision between the African & European crustal plates. The collision was responsible for the uplifting of the Alps and the Dorset folding has been described as "the outer ripples of the Alpine storm". The area provides a classic example of the effects of differential erosion of different rock types. The sea has broken through the ramparts of resistant Portland stone and Purbeck limestone at right and is hollowing out the softer Wealden clays behind.

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Keywords: earth science, geology, rock strata

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