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Mellinus arvensis
find out more... Mellinus arvensis Copyright: Peter Harvey

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
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Visit Our Centre

EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are normally open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays 11am-4pm, check. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
Spring recording Record your Robin Record Common Frog Rana temporaria
Record Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum Record Tawny Mining Bee Andrena fulva
Record Dark-edged Bee Fly Bombylius major
Record Spring Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes
Record cuckoo bee Melecta albifrons

Geology Site Account

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Orsett Depot Quarry, ORSETT, Thurrock District, TQ656809, Historical site only

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Former pit exposing the Upnor Formation.


Site description

To the south of Orsett Cock Quarry is Orsett Depot Quarry, a large, disused sand and gravel pit formerly providing excellent exposures. The faces revealed layers of sand and gravel which are a literally a cross section through a sea floor some 55 million years old.

The pale yellow sand and layers of well-rounded black flint pebbles are part of the Upnor Formation (formerly known as the Woolwich Bottom Bed) and are thought to have been deposited close to a shore line and show evidence of being pounded together under storm conditions. In some places the sand reveals fossilised burrows of marine animals such as shrimps that inhabited this ancient sea. The junction of the Upnor Formation with the underlying Thanet Sand was formerly visible at the base of the section (the junction was conspicuous due to water seepage).

At the top of the section Thames terrace gravel of Pleistocene age could formerly be seen. These Thames gravels are Orsett Heath Gravel and therefore the oldest and highest of the Thames Terraces.

The quarry is private land and access is only available with the prior permission of the land-owner.


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Reference: Ellison 1979

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