Kimmeridge Bay

The rocks at Kimmeridge are the Kimmeridge Clays.  These are dark coloured and have clearly defined beds, dipping inland at a shallow angle.  The clays are very organic rich, and are the source of the oil found in Dorset.  The landforms found here are steep cliffs and a well-defined wave-cut platform.

The Kimmeridge Clays are made up of clearly defined beds of shales and limestones.  These make a striking pattern on the foreshore at low-tide.  The shallow dip of the beds enables the rocks to form steep cliffs, since they are less vulnerable to rock-falls than rocks that dip more steeply towards the sea.  The wave cut platform forms as sea level rises, and the cliff line migrates in a landward direction.  Broad Bench near Kimmeridge (large photo below) is an excellent example of a wave-cut platform.

The oil sourced from the Kimmeridge Clay is extracted at the bay, and also at a larger, inland well at Wytch Farm which is located 17 miles from Poole.  BP run the oil terminal which exports as much as 25,000 barrels of oil per day.  This type of land use is clearly in conflict with the World Heritage Site status of the Dorset Coast, and has to be carefully monitored for it's environmental impact.