Geology of Yorkshire - Topography - The Magnesian Limestone Belt

The Magnesian Limestone Belt

The Magnesian Limestone belt forms a narrow north- south oriented strip of undulating land on the eastern edge of the Pennines overlooking the Vale of York.The magnesian limestone deposits were laid down in an evaporating inland sea in the Permian period. They are made up of a lower layer of dolomite and dolomitic limestone, which form the dominant landscape feature, overlain by red mudstone with gypsum. The upper layer is made of a similar sequence. There are numerous swallow holes caused by the underground dissolution of limestone and gypsum. The sequence can be seen clearly where it is cut by rivers in the Nidd gorge at Knaresborough, the Wharfe valley at Wetherby and the Don gorge near Doncaster. The York and Escrick glacial moraines swing north and merge north of Wetherby to cover the magnesian limestone with glacial deposits. In the Bedale area and northwards thes deposits are so extensive as to mask the limestone topography. South of Wetherby there is only a thin layer of glacial deposits overlying the limestone. The soils here are from the limestone and clay deposits and are generally very fertile.

Read more about this topic:  Geology Of Yorkshire, Topography

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