Mudstone and shale cliff, Dorset

Mudstone and shale cliff, Dorset

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Credit: DR KEITH WHEELER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mudstone and shale cliff, Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, UK. This view shows the rock strata and alternating layers of bitumous shale (grey) and calcareous mudstone (brown). Cliffs such as this are hazardous due to loose shales and the risk of rockfalls. This area is part of the Jurassic Coast Heritage Site. It is rich in oil and fossils. The Kimmeridge Clay Formation is composed of mudstones and shales. The fossils include shells of ammonites and bivalves, and the bones of marine reptiles, dinosaurs and pterosaurs. Some of the shales are rich in oil, with pumps used to extract oil from depths of around 550 metres.

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Keywords: 2011, 21st century, beach, britain, british, cliff, coast, coastal, danger, dangerous, dorset, earth science, earth sciences, england, english, europe, european, fossil site, fossils, geological, geology, hazard, hazardous, heritage site, jurassic coast, kimmeridge bay, kimmeridge clay formation, layer, layers, loose rocks, mudstone, nature, oil bearing rocks, palaeontology, paleontology, risk, rock, rockfall, seashore, seaside, sedimentary, shale, shore, strata, stratum, uk, united kingdom

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