Humberside Geologist No.12

Field Meeting to Langtoft Chalk Pits

Saturday 27th September, 1997

By Felix Whitham


Langtoft Quarries (Map Ref. TA 012735 & 012659) and Nafferton Grange Quarry (Map Ref. TA 049611).

Hard hats required to be worn near chalk faces, goggles, hammer & chisel, stout footwear and waterproof clothing recommended . Great care must be exercised at all times .

The first stop will be at the Nafferton Grange Quarry . Here the section exposes about 25 metres of Inoceramus lingua Zone (Discoscaphites binodosus Subzone) chalk and at the present time is the highest and best exposed sequence of these beds in north-east England. The chalk is generally hard and massive apart from some thinly bedded series in the middle and at the top of the succession. The sequence of beds seen here lies above the chalk exposed in the cliff at Sewerby Steps on the coast.

Although the extraction of chalk has now ceased at Nafferton, fossils were quite common in the days when the quarry was in full production. A number of species can still be found amongst the fallen blocks and in the chalk faces. These include the inoceramids Sphenoceramus lingua, S. patootensis, S. steenstrupi and Cataceramus balticus. Large, domed species of Echinocorys along with crushed examples of blue coated Micraster glyphus and M schroederi occur in the softer 2 metre band of chalk about 14 m above the base of the section. Echinocorys also occurs in the higher beds at the 23 m level. Other fossils include the ammonite Discoscaphites binodosus, the belemnite Gonioteuthis, brachiopods and sponges.

The second part of the trip will be to visit the two quarries at Langtoft which occur on both sides of the Driffield road south of the village.The flinty-flintless chalk boundary of the Lower Hagenowia rostrata and Upper H. rostrata Zones can be observed in the quarry on the west side of the road (TA 012735) where about 8.5 metres of flinty chalk is overlain by about 8.1 m of rubbly chalks void of flint. This horizon may correlate with the flinty-flintless chalk boundary seen at High Stacks, Flamborough Head although at the present time further research is required to confirm this. In the lower flinty chalk at Langtoft, beds of very hard chalk are separated by several thin bands of semi-tabular flints with occasional lines of small nodular and pebble flints and some thin marl horizons. These beds appear to be comparable with the top of the flinty chalk at High Stacks and at beach level near to Kindle Scar in Selwicks Bay. The chalk in this quarry yields rare Hagenowia rostrata, Orbirhynchia sp., Echinocorys, Inoceramus and Porosphaera globularis.

The roadside section on the opposite side of the road exposes flintless chalk (U H. rostrata) with vertical bedding at the northern end of the exposure which is no doubt affected by the Langtoft fault line associated with the Flamborough Head fault zone. The path of the road between the two Langtoft sections may define part of the fault complex of the area. A few fossils have been found in the roadside pit, mainly belemnites and inoceramids.



Whitham F.,in Rawson,P. F.. & Wright, J.K.1992. The Yorkshire Coast. Geologists;

Association Guide no. 34, 117pp.

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.

Wright, C. W. & Wright, E. V. 1942. The Chalk of the Yorkshire Wolds. Proc. of the Geologists Association 53, 112-127.

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