Geology

Policy: To conserve and enhance the geodiversity of the North Devon Coast AONB and recognise the contribution to landscape value

 

North Devon Coast AONB is underlain by a complex and, in parts, world-renowned geology that has strongly shaped and influenced the character of the landscape over hundreds of millions of years. As well as several geological SSSIs there are 13 County Geological Sites within the AONB boundary.

The northern  side of the Taw Torridge estuary is underlain by sedimentary rocks of the upper and middle Devonian period with some carboniferous outcrops in the Croyde to Barnstaple area, with Pleistocene to recent deposits in the Croyde to Saunton area and on the northern side of the Taw River. These rocks were laid down in a range of marine and river environments. 

The southern side of the estuary is underlain by younger carboniferous rocks, with the geological boundary between the Devonian and Carboniferous roughly following the Taw Torridge Estuary.  These rocks were formed in a range of shallow to deep and brackish or marine environments.

At the mouth of the estuary there are the extensive dune systems of Braunton Burrows to the north and the smaller Northam Burrows to the south and fronting Northam Burrows is a pebble ridge - a storm beach, which is the product of erosion of the cliffs eastward from the Hartland Peninsula. 

There are some amazing outcrops to see along our coast wherever you are. To find out more about our geology take a look at the Devon Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) Group reports, below

 

Geodiversity Action Plan
North Devon AONB RIGS Torridge
North Devon AONB RIGS North Devon
Geology of Britain Viewer

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