The Cotswolds

  • Andrew S. GoudieEmail author
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


The Cotswold cuesta (escarpment) of central England is a classic terrain, developed primarily in Jurassic rocks. Alternations of clays and limestones have produced conditions for slope instability so that mudflows and landslip occur. There are also various Quaternary sediments and landforms, including terrace gravels, fan gravels and solifluction spreads. The Cotswolds and Upper Thames Valley lay outside the southern limit of the late Quaternary ice-sheets and so escaped the direct effects of glaciation during at least the last two glacial episodes. Pleistocene deposits from earlier glaciations are, however, evident, but are heavily dissected and only occur across higher ground. The escarpment face has many outliers and recession cols, while the drainage of the dip slope, most of which drains into the Thames system, is characterised by dry valleys, underfit streams, and valley meanders. Cambering and valley bulging are also widespread and are thought to be a legacy of cold conditions in the Pleistocene.


Cuesta Jurassic Slope instability Cambering Valley meanders 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GeographyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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