How and Why do Landscapes Change? (03:07)
The U.K. landscape is constantly evolving. Limestone cliffs in the Yorkshire Dales developed 300 million years ago. Coral fossils show the Malham Cove area lay under a shallow tropical sea near the equator and was part of Pangaea.
Glaciation Evidence (02:42)
A team of scientists uses a drone to explore Victoria Cave near Malham Cove. Hyena and rhinoceros fossils indicate a savanna landscape existed 120,000 years ago. Sediment analysis, 3-D imaging and carbon dating reveal ice sheets formed and scoured the landscape.
Ending Ice Age (02:51)
Smooth rocks indicate Malham Cove was once a waterfall formed by melting glaciers. People first appeared 15,000 years ago; by 10,000 years ago the landscape appeared as it does today. Geology, plate tectonics, and human activity have shaped the entire U.K.
Factors Shaping Landscapes: Geology and Tectonics (01:04)
Scotland's Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the U.K. and contains sediments, lava, and pink granite. Rock types include igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
Igneous Rock Formation (02:33)
Extrusive rocks formed by cooling lava include andesite, basalt, and pumice. Hear how hexagonal basalt columns formed at the Giant's Causeway. Granite tors, an example of intrusive igneous rock in Dartmoor, were created by underground lava.
Sedimentary Rock Formation (02:54)
England's limestone Jurassic Coast attracts fossil hunters. Compressed sediment is deposited by rivers, seas, or glaciers. View examples of clay, chalk, sandstone, and millstone grit. Sedimentary rock is characterized by visible layers that sometimes fold under pressure.
Metamorphic Rock Formation (01:55)
Tectonic plates collided 500 million years ago, pushing up sedimentary rock and forming Scotland's Caledonia Mountains. View examples of shale, slate, red brick and granite. U.K. architecture is affected by local geology.
Tees-Exe Line (00:53)
A U.K. relief map shows the height of land above sea level. Upland areas are associated with older rocks like granite, limestone, and schist; lowland areas feature sedimentary rocks.
Factors Shaping Landscapes: Physical Processes (02:44)
Weathering can be biological, chemical or physical. Water has seeped into cracks, freezing and shattering rocks to create scree in upland areas. Glaciers once ground U-shaped river valleys and alluvial deposits made them fertile.
Overdeepening and Chemical Weathering (02:57)
Glaciers gouged the landscape as they flowed down from the Scottish Highlands, creating ribbon shaped lakes. In limestone areas, glaciation combined with physical processes to create limestone pavements. Rain carrying carbonic acid erodes the pavement that holds up Millstone grit boulders in some areas.
Factors Shaping Landscapes: Physical Processes - Lowlands (02:10)
The South Downs is an example of a scarp and vale landscape. Hear how sedimentary rock weathering and erosion has formed sloping hillsides and dry valleys.
Springs Formation (01:54)
In a scarp and vale landscape, impermeable clay forces water through porous chalk to the surface. Human settlements formed near water sources; building construction incorporated flint to strengthen chalk walls. Hedges mark property boundaries, rather than stone walls.
Credits: The UK’s Changing Landscapes (00:30)
Credits: The UK’s Changing Landscapes
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