Geology Site Account
West Maldon landslip, MALDON, Maldon District, TL845074, Potential Local Geological Site
Site name: West Maldon landslip
Grid reference: TL 8442 0742 to TL 8471 0737
Brief description of site:
A good example of a London Clay landslip can be seen on the north-facing slope adjacent to the River Blackwater at Maldon. The site is also a Local Wildlife Site and is traversed by a public footpath.
There are three landslips on the north-facing river cliff of the Blackwater at Maldon. The middle and most obvious slip is referred to as the West Maldon Landslip (Bristow 1985, Hutchinson 1965). It is formed of successive rotational slips in the bedrock of London Clay which is trying to reach a stable angle. Most of the slips are grassed over but small fresh scars indicate that there is still instability. The most active landslipping presumably took place when the river was directly eroding the toes of the landslips. The presence of saltings indicate that erosion has not taken place for a number of years (Bristow 1985).
The surface of the landslipped ground is characteristically hummocky and covered with brambles. This could be clearly seen from the Maldon By-pass (see photograph) but now trees have mostly covered the slope.
A public footpath traverses the landslip. The area of the landslip is a Local Wildlife Site (appropriately called Hilly Fields Wildlife Site).
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Reference: Bristow 1985 (p. 86-87), Hutchinson 1965 (p. 35-36).
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