Relic-Soil on Limestone in South Wales

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THE Worm's Head, part of the Nature Conservancy Gower Coast National Nature Reserve, lies at the south-western tip of the Gower Peninsula of Glamorganshire, South Wales. It is a Carboniferous limestone headland accessible only at low tide across a wave-cut limestone platform. On the southern side of the Inner Head (Ord. Surv. Grid Ref. SS 395873) is a section in Pleistocene deposits of a type recorded widely in Gower1–3, and elsewhere in southern Britain. This can be summarized from the base upwards as follows : (1) Wave-cut limestone platform; (2) raised beach of calcite-cemented limestone pebbles banked against solid limestone; the Patella beach; (3) remnants of bright red sandy clay loam, 10–18 in. thick, containing rare limestone pebbles with red weathered outer zones; (4) brown loam containing abundant angular limestone, a periglacial head deposit. The thickness of this is variable from 0 to 10 ft.; (5) dull grey-brown stony sandy loam, glacial drift containing abundant Old Red Sandstone and Carboniferous grits and sandstones; where this is preserved on the flanks of the Worm's Head, the depth averages 4–6 ft.; (6) dull, grey-brown, sandy loam, almost stoneless, similar to the matrix of horizon 5, resting variously on horizons 2, 3 or 6.

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BALL, D. Relic-Soil on Limestone in South Wales. Nature 187, 497–498 (1960) doi:10.1038/187497b0

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