© Craven & Pendle Geological Society

Approaching Gordale Scar

Gordale Scar. About 2 kilometres east of Malham lies Gordale Scar whose origin is similar to that of Malham Cove i.e. a product of fault scarp retreat, again from the Middle Craven Fault. The limestone here at Gordale belong to the Malham Formation which is typically identified by two separate units: the Cove Limestone Member and the Gordale Limestone Member (type section). The contact of the two members is the prominent bedding plane defining the top of the first persistent scar feature.  The beck that runs down through Gordale seems to be somewhat dwarfed compared to the gorge (a "misfit" stream). It is generally accepted that the gorge was carved by glacial meltwater during the last glaciation (Devensian).