Worbarrow Tout

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Worbarrow Tout behind Pondfield Cove

Worbarrow Tout is a promontory at the eastern end of Worbarrow Bay on Isle of Purbeck in Dorset on the south coast of England.

Location[edit]

Worbarrow Bay and Worbarrow Tout are located about six kilometres south of Wareham und about 16 kilometres west of Swanage. Worbarrow Bay lies between Kimmeridge Bay and Lulworth Cove. The Tout lies immediately to the west of Pondfield Cove. Worbarrow Tout (tout = a lookout) was originally part of Gad Cliff to its east, but sea erosion has virtually separated the two completely.

Jurassic Coast[edit]

Worbarrow Tout is part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site. The coastal exposures along the coastline provide a continuous sequence of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous rock formations spanning approximately 185 million years of the Earths history.

The rocks along the Jurassic Coast dip gently to the east. Due to this tilting and erosion the oldest exposed rocks are found in the west. The younger Cretaceous rocks form the cliffs here in the east.

Geology[edit]

The Tout has a distinct pointed shape. It has steep angular layers of rock that visibly demonstrate the complex sedimentary folding that affected this area and that were caused by tectonic pressures as the African and European continents collided some 30 million years ago. The cliff sediments were then twisted horizontally and this is why the Chalks that are between 85 to 145 million years old are found at the rear of the bay. The sediments that face the sea at the front of the bay and form the peninsula Worbarrow Tout are the 150 million year old Portland limestones and 147 million year old Purbeck Beds.

Fossil Zone[edit]

The localities along the Jurassic Coast include a large range of important fossil zones. The Purbeck lagoonal limestones and the shales that are exposed in the cliffs of Worbarrow Tout contain dinosaur footprints and have abundant brackish water bivalves, gastropods and ostracods.[1]

The rocky seabed is the most easterly location on the south coast for colonies of a rare and protected species of slow growing coral, called the Pink Seafan. This is one of only two species of fan-corals that is to be found in British waters.[2]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 50°36′56″N 2°11′06″W / 50.6156°N 2.185°W / 50.6156; -2.185