Limestone Features And Scenery Of The Yorkshire Dales
Limestone Features And Scenery Of The Yorkshire Dales
This map shows the position of the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the UK and the village of Malham where one of it’s most famous features can be found, in the lower section of the image.
Limestone Pavement The Limestone Pavement at Malham is a huge mass of limestone at the top of Malham cove, around 90 metres above the ground, that over time has been chemically weathered along the bedding planes and joints which has resulted in it changing in shape with the clints and grykes forming across it in all shapes and sizes. Due to the immense force that they have been subjected to over time, a few of the clints are unstable and so move when touched as they have been detached from the bedding plane. Clint Gryke
Swallow Hole The Swallow Hole is positioned at the end of a large section of impermeable rock that lies is below Malham Tarn. Here, where the rock is limestone and thus pervious, the water `disappears’ as it `falls’ into the erosion widened joint in the rock and it moves down this and across the bedding planes as it passes through the mass of rock relatively quickly. Swallow Holes such as this one can be several metres deep.
Resurgence The Resurgence is when the water that went in to the mass of rock at the top `re-appears’ at the foot of the feature. After passing through the rock across the joints and bedding planes it reaches a layer of impermeable rock at the bottom and forms a large stream or in some cases a river. This build up of water moves through the area underneath the limestone mass and when it reaches the outside it carries on flowing. If this volume of water becomes large enough it can erode the rock above it meaning that underground caves are formed.
Dry Valley When the glaciers melted after the last ice age they left behind huge amounts of water in the valleys that they had created previously through their movement. This water that was left behind passed through the limestone below and left behind open areas of land between the two masses of rock that had not been worn down by the glacial movement in the past. These areas were left with no surface water hence the name Dry Valley.
Malham Cove The cove at Malham is the face of the huge mass of limestone that is positioned at the top of the valley and on top of it the limestone pavement lies. Originally a waterfall went over the rock and this resulted in it becoming curved as the different areas of rock were eroded at contrasting rates by the water. The cove was created over a period of millions of years as layers of sediment were deposited to make it what it is today, with the valley before it created during the last ice age by glacial movement. If there was enough water available a waterfall could once again be created at the site but this has not happened since the 19 th century.
Goredale Scar Gordale Scar is a limestone ravine that contains two waterfalls that are surrounded by overhanging cliffs of limestone that are in the region of 100 metres high- making them higher than the cove itself. The scar was created after the last ice age when the glaciers melted, releasing huge amounts of water that eroded the rock around them. As this process happened caves were created underground and when the weight of the roofs became too great they collapsed leaving a chasm between the two masses of rock that were left intact. Through these `gaps’ in the rock, water flows nowadays.
Land Use The Yorkshire Dales National Park is used by various groups of people for numerous purposes. The land is owned by different people and whilst the majority of it is open to the public it is important that visitors to the area remember to avoid conflict with these people by acting responsibly. These areas are:
<ul><li>Residential Areas- Across the park there are various residential areas and it is important to remember that the people who live in such areas have paid a lot of money to be there so you must act appropriately in order to not disturb the local inhabitants. Some of the houses are bought as holiday homes and are therefore only used a couple of times a year, which angers local residents further as their children cannot live where they were brought up when they get older. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Quarrying Sites- There are still a few quarries across the Dales so you need to be vigilant and aware not only so you don’t endanger yourself by entering such sites but also of the huge vehicles which are used in the process of extracting limestone. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Farms- Farming is the main source of income in the park so it is important that you respect the fact that a lot of the area is a farmer’s property and so make sure that you don’t go off the paths if you can avoid it or disrupt the processes that are going on by leaving gates open etc. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Tourism Sites- Throughout the year, the national park is a popular tourist destination, bringing £50 million into the area per annum, and this is due to the numerous features of natural beauty in the location. It is up to these tourists though to respect the environment that they are in by using the correct parking sites, footpaths and generally ensuring that they don’t affect the area detrimentally. The area is a popular place for sports such as cycling and so it is important that the competitors in such events carry them out in the correct manor as after all, the surroundings in which they are carrying out the activity do not belong to them. </li></ul>