River Line (East Sussex)

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River Line
Site of Special Scientific Interest
River Line (East Sussex) is located in East Sussex
River Line (East Sussex)
Location within East Sussex
Area of Search East Sussex
Grid reference TQ714190 to TQ719192
Coordinates 50°56′42″N 0°26′38″E / 50.945°N 0.444°E / 50.945; 0.444Coordinates: 50°56′42″N 0°26′38″E / 50.945°N 0.444°E / 50.945; 0.444
Interest Geological
Area 1.89 ha (4.7 acres)
Notification 1997 (1997)
Natural England website

River Line SSSI is a 1.87 hectare (4.6 acre) geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in East Sussex, England. The site was notified in 1997 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

This site comprises a section of the River Line, a short tributary of the River Brede, between Netherfield and the British Gypsum quarry in East Sussex, where the river cuts through a lithologically varied sequence of Purbeck Beds, including marine horizons.

The section exposed runs from the Blues Limestones through the Plant and Bone Beds, the Cinder Bed, Arenaceous Beds, the Shales-with-Ironstone to the Greys Limestone. Such a section is unrivalled in Sussex. The correlations of the Purbeck Beds of Sussex with those of the type seen in Dorset and elsewhere in southern England is disputed since analysis of fossilised spores within the rock indicates that these are considerably younger than beds in Dorset; with most of the section post-dating the better known Purbeck Beds of more westerly areas. Evidence provided by ostracods, fossil crustaceans, much more tied to the time and environment of emplacement than spores, and lithological similarities contradict this correlation; this has given rise to a great deal of questions srounding this important exposure. and has led to these sections being values of great importance in studies of late Jurassic to early Cretaceous environments and correlations.