Book review: Geology of the South Devon Coast from the Dorset County boundary to the Brixham area: Geologists’ Association Guide No 73, by John CW Cope

Jon Trevelyan (UK)

This is the second Geologists’ Association (GA) guide by Professor John Cope to be published in the last two years. The first was the second edition of his excellent Dorset guide, which was reviewed in the last issue of Deposits.

And, on the grounds that “if it ain’t broken, don’t mend it” this guide to the south Devon coast follows the highly successful basic plan of that other guide, including the extensive use of colour photos and diagrams. An introduction covers the geology of the area, taking the reader through the regional context and the rock succession from the Devonian through to the Carboniferous, Permian, Jurassic and Cretaceous, to the Palaeogene, together with advice on safety, literature, equipment and access. It then covers several itineraries heading eastwards to the Dorset county border and includes some inland areas, which provide access to features not available on the coast. The itineraries include the Torquay and Brixham areas, the Permian succession between Torquay and Dawlish Warren, the Permian and Triassic succession east of the River Exe, the Triassic and Cretaceous from Branscombe to Culverhold Point, and certain inland localities.

And, as the article by John (What’s so special about South Devon?) explains, the area provides an ideal introduction to fieldwork for students and lovers of geology. There is a range of geological features superbly displayed in rocks, together with spectacular structures and a wide range of sedimentary rock types. There is also a good variety of igneous rocks, for example, the Dartmore granite.

This is a new guide. The GA has never produced a book on this area before and, as far as I am aware, there are few other such books on the market. Therefore, if you are interested in this area (and a brief perusal of the guide will show that there is much to be interested in), this is well worth getting. It is small enough to fit in a coat pocket when exploring the locations and, for this guide, the ring binding works, as it is shorter than the Dorset guide. I recommend it.

Geology of the South Devon Coats from the Dorset County boundary to the Brixham area: Geologists’ Association Guide No 73 by John CW Cope, The Geologists’ Association (2017), London. 122 pp., softback, ISBN: 978-0900717-91-8

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: