Geological faults in the Dales

The pages below are under development and will be updated on a regular basis.
All images are from the author's collection unless otherwise indicated.

Above: The South Craven Fault at Giggleswick Scar, from Buckhaw Brow, August 10, 2013

Some of the more reclusive aspects of our Craven Dales are mentioned elsewhere in these website pages - the Porcellanous Band, the Girvanella Band and the Silurian erratics, not to mention the mysterious and elusive Davidsonina-Cyrtina-Septosa Bands. However, the geological faults and other structural features are often highly prominent and none more so than the renowned, not to say majestic, Craven Faults: the South Craven Fault, the Mid-Craven Fault, the North Craven Fault, and, a little further north, the Dent Fault.

It is these great bedrock displacements that give us much of our spendid Dales heritage. However there is another, highly secretive, phenomenon, the Wensleydale Granite, which props up the whole of our limestone Dales, the Askrigg Block, from deep within the earth's crust.

First turn to the Craven Faults: below. They are depicted at various points along with parts of the equally important Dent and Feizor Faults.

Then turn to The Wharfedale Faults: below, to look at some of the faults that may be seen in the Wharfedale and Littondale area.

Then there is a section for other faults such as those which contribute to the alignment of some of the major caves and potholes, the Gaping Gill Fault for example, below. Elsewhere other minor faults come to light, and are still coming to light as these investigations continue.

Below: amongst the minor faults is the Gaping Gill Fault that at one time was accessible via East Pot hidden away in a corner of the Gaping Gill Main Chamber. Below, Trevor Smith on the East Pot 20m ladder pitch, August 23, 1986.
Note the highly fractured rock higher up and the 'zone of cataclasis', crushed and distorted rock, visible to each side of the ladder.

The Craven Faults

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The Wharfedale Faults

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Faults in other areas

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see references at bottom of Geology of Western Penyghent

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Any shortcomings in the text are entirely my own.
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Steve Warren

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