Free «Geology of the Isle of Purbeck» Essay Sample

The isle of purbeck is a peninsula and not an ideal island. This island is located at the Dorset County in England where the English channel boarders it to the south and east. The islands have very steep cliffs that falls into the sea and bordered by marshy lands of rivers fromes and the Poole harbor to the northern side. However, the western boundary of the island is not well defined.

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The geology of the Isle is multifaceted. It has an inharmonious coastline that is along the east side and concordant coastline that is along the south. Furthermore, the northern part has Eocene clay (Barton Beds), in addition to significant deposits of the Purbeck Ball Clay (Cochrane, 1969). However, where the land is raised up to the sea, there is found several parallel strata made of Jurassic rocks, including the Purbeck beds and Portland limestone. The Purbeck beds include Purbeck Marble, predominantly the hard limestone that can be polished though mineralogicaly, though it is not marble (Hutchins, 1741).

A ridge made of Cretaceous chalk is found all along the peninsula developing into the Purbeck Hills, that is part of the great southern England Chalk Formation, which includes Salisbury Plain, the Isle of Wight the Dorset Downs (Cochrane, 1969). The cliffs at this point are some of the very most spectacular scenery in England, and it is of great geological interest, specifically for the rock types that are found and variety of landforms, remarkably the Lulworth Cove and the Durdle Door (Hutchins, 1741). Moreover, the coast is but a part of the wide Jurassic Coast, which is a World Heritage Site due to the unique geology found in this isle (Taylor, 1970).

In the past few years quarrying of limestone in the island  was particularly confined around the western side of Swanage, Langton Matravers and  the villages of Worth Matravers, and the cliffs  found  along the coast between Swanage and  the St. Aldhelm's Head are also harnessed for quarrying. The "caves" found at Tilly Which are said to be the former quarries, and Seacombe, Dancing Ledge, and Winspit are some other cliff-edge quarries (Cochrane, 1969).

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In addition, the Stone were  removed from the quarries found in the cliffs by either sea, or by using horse carts to act as transport for large blocks to Swanage. Notably, Many of England's most glorious and famous cathedrals are adorned very neatly with Purbeck marble, additionally much of London city was  also rebuilt in Portland and  the Purbeck stone  this is after the Great Fire of London.(Edward,2008).

By contrast, it was found out that the principal ball clay workings were particularly in the area between Wareham and Corfe Castle. In the beginning, the clay was taken up by packhorse to wharves to the River Frome and to the south side of Poole Harbor. On the other hand, in the 19th century the packhorses were placed out by horse drawn tramways (Edward, 2008). However, with the coming the railway line from Wareham all the way to Swanage, most of the ball clay was dispatched there on by rail, regularly to the Potteries district of Staffordshire (Taylor, 1970).

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Quarrying is still the activity that takes place in Purbeck, where both Purbeck Ball Clay and the limestone are especially transported from the area by road that has been constructed. However, there are now no functioning quarries of Purbeck Marble (Taylor, 1970).The industrial revolution for the most part by-passed Dorset, which has remained fundamentally rural, the farming economy, nevertheless, provided the spark especially for the Trade Union movement that in the 1820s a group comprising of farm laborers formed the union as one of the first unions. However, in 1832, unions were banned and the six men, who are now referred to as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, were transported, be converted into national heroes for the working classes (Edward, 2008).

Moreover, in the 19th century, the new railways increased mobility to the region and communications enhanced to the British people. Railway Lines through Dorset that include the South Western Main Line. Covered  London to Bournemouth, Dorchester, Poole, and Weymouth; at the Heart of Wessex Line came  from Bristol to Sherborne, Weymouth; and Dorchester  which is the West of England Main Line from London to Exeter, with stations located  at Sherborne and  the Gillingham; and the now dismantled Somerset and the  Dorset Joint Railway that cover  from Bath to Bournemouth( Hutchins, 1741). In addition, there were also a number of very small branchlines, which were closed in the Beaching axe, they included such as those found going to Bridport and Swanage. The Swanage Railway has been reopened but just as a heritage railway (Hutchins, 1973).

However, during World War I and II the Dorset, that is located on the English Channel, was both an enemy target and important location to the Royal Navy (Edward, 2008). Furthermore, the large Portland Harbor, that was built at the end of the 19th century, which protected by the Verne Citadel and Nothe Fort, was for many years, as well as during the wars, one of the biggest Royal Navy bases (Hutchins, 1973). American, British, and Canadian ships congregated in the harbor and in the nearby Weymouth bay just before the D-Day landings. Preparation and training for the landings was also taking place in the Dorset, which was at the long sandy beach at Studland (Cochrane, 1969). Moreover, Portland Harbor constantly became used as a Royal Navy and the NATO training base this was until the 1990s. However, now a public port and recreation area are to be used for the sailing proceedings in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Furthermore, since the early 19th century, this is when George III went for holidays in Weymouth. The Dorset's tourism industry has largely grown, and has many seaside resorts of Bournemouth and Weymouth. However, the Jurassic Coast and the counties sparsely populated rural area, which attracts millions of tourists each year (Edward, 2008).  Therefore, with farming declining all over the country, the tourism now rivals agriculture as the main source of economy of the county.

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