Summer Field Programme - 30 June 2018

Deepgrove Wyke to Keldhowe Steel – Toarcian stratigraphy and sedimentology

Dr Tim Burnhill and John Hodgson

Saturday 30th June, 10:00am – rescheduled Deepgrove Wyke to Keldhowe Steel

Leaders: John Hodgson and Tim Burnhill

Purpose: To visit continuous exposures of the Jet Rock in the cliff and foreshore between Deepgrove Wyke and Keldhowe Steel north of Sandsend.

Access: The trip is suitable for participants in good health and with good mobility. Some moderately difficult terrain including descending and ascending steep but well-maintained steps, (steel double hand rails on steepest section), traversing of the scar, mainly a flat wave cut platform but with some boulder fields (kept to a minimum). Distance: 4.5 kms return. 80m ascent/descent.

Logistics: Meet at rear of car park, north end of Sandsend (YO21 3TD; Grid Ref: NZ861129) at 10:00 am. Leave 10:15. SIGN IN. Car-pooling recommended as the car park may fill rapidly. Bring change – the card reader may not work! Toilets available at the car park. Mobile phone signal is poor through most of the trip. Please bring a packed lunch and drink.

Health and Safety: Hard hat essential. Please do not come without one. The chief hazards are those normally associated with excursions along the scar beneath cliffs.

  • Rock falls: Cliff sections are unstable, particularly after heavy rain or during high winds. Even minor cascades of small stones may cause very serious injury or death. Approaching the cliff face must be avoided at all times.
  • Rough and Slippery Terrain: Small fields of large boulders fields on the foreshore. Limited in extent, but may cause stumbles and falls. Wave cut platform may be coated in seaweed and algal film which may well be slippery. Care must be taken traversing both. Wear appropriate footwear with good grip.
  • Tides: Low tide 12:19; 1.3m High tide 18:27; 5.1m.
  • Weather: Consult weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing. Recommend bringing waterproof clothing, sun hat and sun block, and plenty of water (no access during the excursion). The location is often cold.

Itinerary: Ascend steps from car park, walk along cinder track to the top of Deepgrove Wyke - see the Dogger and Saltwick Formations along the way. Access to the shore, descending steep but well maintained steps. Walk 700m along the scar to Keldhowe Point, by noon. Explore Jet Rock and Grey Shales on the scar and see full succession up to the Saltwick Formation in the cliff. Learn how to recognise key horizons. Learn about and search for any evidence of a low oxygen environment during deposition. Lunch. Return to Deepgrove walking up the section stratigraphy and observing the details of the Jet Rock on the way. Look for loose fossils between boulders. See jet workings, old and new! Conclude in Deepgrove where more of the Jet Rock can be observed.

Return up steps from about 2:00 pm. Car park by 2:30 pm.

There will be an opportunity for YOU to try to identify, and trace horizontally, beds within, above and below the Jet Rock using sections that we will supply for you to use. We encourage the more expert among you to ‘mentor’ participants! There will be opportunities to identify ammonites and bivalves in situ.

The section is not a SSSI, but we ask participants not to take specimens from the cliffs or out of the wave cut platform - specimens may be found in the loose scree and boulder on the foreshore.

If you want to go on the field trip please contact Tim Burnhill at

Participants should wear stout footwear and clothing suitable for wet weather conditions and rucksacks to keep hands free when walking. Hard hats are required for quarry and cliff base visits where advised. Please Note: RGG will not be able to provide hard hats – please bring your own.