• Local GAPs

Slide Show

Geological setting of the two counties

Herefordshire Local Geology Worcestershire Local Geology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedrock geology of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Cartography by Dr. Adam Stinton, Earth Heritage Trust. Based upon information in the BGS DiGMapGB-625 Geological Map of Great Britain. Data reproduced by permission of the British Geological Surey © NERC. All Rights Reserved. Reference IPR/99-21CA.

The solid (or bedrock) geology of Herefordshire and Worcestershire covers a significant amount of geological time (see Geological timescale below) from the Precambrian gneiss and schists of the Malvern hills through to the Jurassic limestones in the Broadway area (SE Worcestershire). As shown on the map above, the geology of the individuals counties differ. Worcestershire is dominated by the sandstones and mudstones of the Mercia Mudstone Group that underlie the Severn Vale. Herefordshire, on the other hand, is dominated by the Devonian Old Red sandstones. This difference has a significant impact on the landscape of the two counties. The River Severn valley covers much of the county and is surrounded by low, rolling hills, including the Malvern Hills. Herefordshire is characterised by more upland topography including the Bromyard downs area and the eastern edge of the Black Mountains, in the west of the county.

To read more about the geology of the individual Counties, click here for Herefordshire or here for Worcestershire.

The major divisions of geological time

The diagram below shows the major divisions of geological time;
 

Million years
Eon
Era
Period
1.8
    Phanerozoic       Cenozoic  
Quaternary
5.2
 Tertiary
Pliocene

23.5
Miocene

35.5
Oligocene

56.5
Eocene

65
 Paleocene

145

Mesozoic
Cretaceous

199

Jurassic

251

Triassic

299

Paleozoic
Permian

359

Carboniferous

416

Devonian

444

Silurian

488

Ordovician

542

Cambrian
2500
Proterozoic
 
Precambrian

4600
Archean

 
From 'Geology Today', copyright Blackwell Science Ltd.