The Yorkshire Chalk

The Hull Geological Society Centenary Chalk Project

Felix Whitham, the Treasurer of the Hull Geological Society, had a long interest in the Chalk and in 1984 proposed the stratigraphy of the Yorkshire Chalk and the creation of a collection of Chalk Fossils as the topic for the Society's Centenary Project. A group including Lynden Emery, Donald Beveridge, Tony Gear, Dave Finer, Mavis May, Felix Whitham and Mike Horne started to visit quarries and coastal exposures, logging the beds and collecting fossils. The plan was to give the fossils to the University of Hull Geology Department, but its closure was announced in 1988, the Centenary year!

The stratigraphic logging of the Flamborough Formation on coastal section was not easy; there are few landmarks to help and fieldowrk had to be undertaken every fortnight due to the tides. There were particular problems at Danes Dyke and South Landing which were solved by Donald Beveridge and Lynden Emery.

A poster of the stratigraphy of Melton Bottoms Chalk pit was displayed at a meeting of the Association of Teachers of Geology in Cottingham in 1987 and the complete stratigraphy of the Yorkshire Chalk was prepared in time for the Sociaty's Centenary Meeting in June 1988. Specimens from the collection were also exhibited at the Centenary Meeting and Felix published the lithostratigraphy and biostratigraphy in 1991 and 1993 in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society. The HGS nominated Felix for an honorary degree from the University of Hull for this work, which he received in 1992.

In response to a request for help in the Geologists' Association Circular Professor Malcolm Hart suggested that the Society collected samples for the microfossils; these were also used for geochemistry. Mike Horne registered for an higher degree at the University of Hull to study the microbiostratigraphy supervised by Martin Brasier.


references -


Horne M 1988, The Centenary Chalk Project of the Hull Geological Society. Humberside Geologist 6, 19-20.

Horne M & the HGS Centenary Project Team 1988 - The Stratigraphy of the Yorkshire Chalk [conference posters for the HGS Centenary meeting]

Horne M 1989 - problems with Chalk Stratigraphy [unpublished lecture to HGS]

Horne M  1996. The marl bands of the northern Chalk and their origin. [Abstract about the geochemistry]. Yorkshire Geological Society Circular .

Whitham F 1991. The stratigraphy of the Upper Cretaceous Ferriby, Welton and Burnham Formations north of the Humber, north east England. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society 48, 227-254.

Whitham F 1993. The stratigraphy of the Upper Cretaceous Flamborough Chalk Formation north of the Humber, north east England. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society 49, 235-258.


copyright Mike Horne 2019

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