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Photos from Golden Cap, Dorset

These are photos I took during a trip in autumn 2006. Golden Cap is situated between Charmouth and Seatown (not to be confused with Seaton!) on the Dorset Coast. The name comes from the golden colour of the Cretaceous beds that form the top of the hill. You can't see them in these photos too well, but the Charmouth page contains a nice shot from a distance. These photos mainly show the Green Ammonite Mudstone Member, and the underlying Belemnite Marl Member of the Charmouth Mudstone Formation.

The first photo shows slumped material from the cliff face in the foreground, and the nearly vertical cliff behind consisting of the Eype Clay Member of the Dyrham Formation at the top, and the Green Ammonite Mudstone Member below. You can see some prominent ledges projecting from the cliff face, these are the Three Tiers at the base of the Eype Clay Member. The visible cliff section is mainly in the Stokesi Subzone of the Lower Pliensbachian.

The cliffs at Golden Cap viewed from the beach

This is a view to the West towards Charmouth. The cliffs are the Green Ammonite Mudstone Member.

Looking towards Charmouth

Looking East towards Seatown. The blocks on the beach near the sea have fallen from the Three Tiers, the clear patches between are at the base, or slightly lower, of the Green Ammonite Mudstone Member. In places, the Belemnite Stone can be seen which is at the top of the Belemnite Marl Member of the Charmouth Mudstone formation.

The cliff is, again, the Green ammonite Mudstone Member the base of which has nodules some of which contain the "green ammonites". These are, from what I've read, Androgynoceras sp. These are preserved in the mudstone, too, but the majority of the phragmacone is usually crushed. You can pick up sections of the body chamber that is well preserved quite easily on the beach, though. I managed to find several, as well as a nodule with the venter of a whole ammonite protruding.

Looking towards Seatown

This matches the description for the Belemnite stone and is widely exposed at beach level.

The belemnite stone at beach level

2006