Describe The Geological & Morphological Development Of The Malham Area. How Has This Affected Human Utilisation Of This Landscape Over The Last 10,000 Years?

3888 words - 16 pages

''Describe the geological & morphological development of the Malham area. How has this affected human utilisation of this landscape over the last 10,000 years?''Malham is a small village at the southern base of the Yorkshire Dales. The area around Malhamhas many examples of limestone landforms and the cliffs of Malham are made of strong, white, carboniferous limestone (Waltham 2007).It is also shaped by glacial erosion which dates to 10,000 years ago and has one of Great Britain's most dramatic limestone landscapes (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=/Yorkshire and the Humber region, 1995).Adam Sedgwick who was well known Yorkshire Dales Geologist, made his mark in life as one of the great figures in the early years of the science of geology. His fieldwork took him onto the carboniferous limestone's that form the rim around what he called Cambrian slates (Waltham 2007).About 350 million years ago the geological period began and lasted for 80 million years.During this period the Yorkshire Dales peaks rose to over 700m above sea level. The rocks which dominate the landscape were laid down as marine sediments during carboniferous times. Changes in the sea level were mainly responsible for the different types of rock formed during the long carboniferous period (White 1997).The limestone formations exist due to multiple ice ages occurring over millions of years. We now know ice ages are caused by changes in the position of the earth's orbit around the sun and variations in the tilt of the earth's axis, as shows on the diagram below.In fact there have been many ice ages over the years; we now know it has been caused by the earth's orbit.Fig 1. Earth's orbit around the sun: (Fagan and Hudson, 2009).First of all to create an ice age the first thing you need is continents at the poles. Simple climate models have been demonstrated by Geologists to give this idea by showing that if you put all the continents around the Equator- the so- called 'tropical ring world', the temperature gradient between the poles and the Equator is about 30 degrees Celsius which is (54 foreign height). This is due to the work of both the atmosphere and the oceans. As hot air rises and cold air drops; the land heats up and the air rises in the tropics, resulting in forming cloud formations which develop as the moisture in the cools and condenses. This is the fundamental rule of climate. The opposite happens at the poles as it's cold, the air falls, pushing away from the pole as it hits the ground. As ice forms at the pole when the sea water freezes, this ice is blown away from the pole towards much warmer water where it gradually melts. This prevents the temperature from falling down and also maintains the balance of the pole falling below 0 degrees Celsius (32 foreign height)(Fagan and Hudson, 2009).Between 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, Europe underwent startling rapid changes of climate.The continents-wide fall temperature was at 3 degrees Celsius at atmospheric circulation....

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