Ingleton: Age of the Rocks

© Craven & Pendle Geological Society

From a geologists' point of view, the Ingleton Glens Waterfall Walk superbly exposes Lower Palaeozoic basement rocks - Yorkshire's oldest rocks to date! The succession (right) identifies the age of rocks you are likely to come across during your walk (MA represents Millions of Years). Examining the rocks from a plate tectonic perspective may well shed some light on the lost ocean of 'Iapetus'! The enigmatic Ingletonian rocks were initially described by Leedal & Walker (1953) as Precambrian. Subsequent workers reassigned them to the Lower Ordovician (Arenig) time frame. At the time of writing (3 Sept. 2003), new research by Dr. N.J. Soper suggests that they may well be Precambrian after all!

This is an ideal excursion for studying a number of key geological concepts which include: a) Structural geology: the Craven Faults, Synclines, Anticlines and Isosclinal folds; b) Stratigraphy: the different geological periods; a classic unconformity; c) Petrology: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; d) Quaternary glaciation: a classic terminal moraine.

It is worth noting that in Crummack Dale further in-sights into the Lower Palaeozoics can be seen at Nappa Scars (SD 768697) and Norber Erratics (SD 770704). In Ribblesdale superb outcrops of Silurian rocks can be seen in Arcow Quarry (permission required) and finally, Combes Quarry, Foredale (SD 800701), is another splendid locality to see another angular unconformity.