Hopes Nose and Thatcher Rock: Quaternary of SW England
Designations: GCR (No: 1868), SSSI
Key sites for the study of Quarternary stratigraphy and sea-level changeGCR block / key theme: Quaternary of south-west England
GCR Statement of Interest: "Hope's Nose and Thatcher Rock are key sites for studies of Quaternary stratigraphy and sea-level change. At Hope's Nose a shore platform at 8 m is overlain by cemented raised beach, comprised of cobbles and boulders at its base, fining upwards into bedded sands. Blown sand an hillwash lie above. A similar raised beach occurs on the offshore stack of Thatcher Rock. The beach deposits are particularly important for their assemblages of fossil marine molluscs and foraminifera. Seventeen species of mollusc have been recorded from Hope's Nose and forty-three from Thatcher Rock. The assemblages from both sites are temperate in nature, although that from Thatcher Rock indicates slightly cooler conditions than those of the present day. Amino-acid dating suggests that the Hope's Nose beach relates to oxygen isotope stage 7 (ca. 210,000 years BP). The well-preserved molluscan faunas and the sedimentary detail of the raised beaches are of crucial importance for dating and interpreting Quaternary sea-level changes and related environmental conditions in south-west England."