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Ancient Frontiers - Exploring the geology and landscape of the Hadrian's Wall area

Pickett, Elizabeth; Young, Brian; Lawrence, David; Clarke, Stuart; Everest, Jeremy; Thompson, Gill; Young, Rob. 2006 Ancient Frontiers - Exploring the geology and landscape of the Hadrian's Wall area. British Geological Survey, 64pp.

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Abstract/Summary

This book celebrates and explores the rocks and landscape of the countryside around Hadrian’s Wall. It was been produced by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in collaboration with Northumberland National Park Authority. The geology and landscape of the countryside around Hadrian’s Wall has developed over millions of years. This book unravels some of the events which created the landscape we see, explains how that landscape has influenced both its wildlife and the people who have lived and worked in the area and gives an indication of how it continues to evolve. Five hundred million years ago the area that was to become Northumberland lay under a deep ocean in the southern hemisphere. Since then that area has drifted through many of the Earth’s latitudes and climates. Continents have collided, the land has drowned beneath tropical seas and swamps and has been covered by a kilometre- thick ice sheet. The first people arrived in the area about 6000 years ago, heralding a new chapter in the evolution of the landscape. Four thousand years later the Romans certainly appreciated and exploited the geology. Hadrian chose the narrowest route across northern England for his Wall, and took advantage of the natural defences of the crags between Walltown and Sewingshields. These crags mark the outcrop of the Whin Sill, one of the most important features of northern England geology. Since Roman times, the Whin Sill and many of the sandstones and limestones in the area have been quarried and exploited by man. Today many of the disused quarries provide an opportunity to examine sections of the rocks that would otherwise not have been available and also provide specialised habitats for plants and animals. Quarried stone, mainly sandstone, gives rise to the distinctive architecture of castles, villages and farms, and many, many miles of drystone walls. The hardness and resistance of the whinstone makes it an important roadstone and crushed rock aggregate today. It is used to surface roads throughout northern England and beyond. The landscape continues to change, its evolution driven by a combination of natural processes and human activity.

Item Type: Publication - Book
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Geology and Landscape Northern
ISBN: 0852725418
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Available from the BGS Sales Desk Tel: 0115 936 3241 Fax: 0115 936 3488 email sales@bgs.ac.uk http://www.geologyshop.com
Additional Keywords: geology, landscape, Northumberland, geodiversity, Whin Sill, Hadrian's Wall, National Park, witherite
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Earth Sciences
Archaeology
Date made live: 02 Nov 2007 14:49
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/1076

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