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Spectacular chalk cliff at Chafford Gorges Nature Park, Thurrock. The cliff represents a section through an ancient sea floor that existed across England about 80 million years ago. Photo G. Lucy

The rocks beneath the Essex landscape are a record of the county's prehistory. They provide evidence for ancient volcanoes, deserts, glaciers and deep seas. Some rocks also contain remarkable fossils, from subtropical sharks and crocodiles to Ice Age hippos and mammoths. The geology of Essex is a story that stretches back over 100 million years.

This website provides an introduction to the geology of Essex, lists the best sites to visit and provides information on organisations and literature where you can find out more. It is an expanding resource so please visit again.

What's on

Several visits to Essex geological sites are arranged each year in conjunction with the Essex Rock and Mineral Society and the Essex Field Club. Some are open to the general public and others are conservation days where volunteers help to create or improve access to sites.

Events and activities are advertised on the societies' websites:

About GeoEssex

GeoEssex is the primary source of information about the geology and physical landscape of Essex. The GeoEssex team, or 'Steering Group', consists of professional and amateur geologists, representatives from local authorities, geological and natural history societies, and from Natural England, the Government's nature conservation body.

GeoEssex promotes geology in all its aspects, from quarries, cliffs and boulders to spas, springs and building stones. The fascinating and often magical world of geology is all around us, if only we know where to look.

A primary task of GeoEssex is to identify the best places in Essex to find out about the Earth's distant past and the landscape processes going on today. These sites are called Local Geological Sites, or LoGS (formerly called Regionally Important Geological Sites or RIGS). For more information about geological sites click on the 'SITES' tab on the main menu above.

If you would like more information about the GeoEssex Steering Group please click here.
To find out what we plan to do see the Essex Local Geodiversity Action Plan.

Above - Bands of volcanic ash are preserved in the cliffs at Walton-on-the-Naze from volcanoes that were erupting in Scotland 50 million years ago. Photo I.Mercer

Above right - 50 million year old sharks' teeth from the London Clay that were collected from the beach at Walton-on-the-Naze. Photo G. Lucy

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