The Weald

  • David K. C. JonesEmail author
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)


The Weald is a denuded anticlinorium with many landscapes of sufficiently high scenic value to qualify as ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and even to form part of a National Park. This chapter begins by focusing on the anticlinal structure formed over the period Late Cretaceous to Mid-Tertiary, the unroofing of which has revealed four main concentric geological outcrops, each of which has produced a range of differing terrains which combine to form ‘the Weald’. Time is spent describing each outcrop zone, beginning with the Chalk rim which is often taken for granted, but is actually surprisingly varied. Next comes the ‘Greensand belt’, where spatial changes in thickness and composition have major influences on topography, ranging from low hummocky terrain to three of the highest cuestas in the Weald; then the Weald Clay/Low Weald which is only flat in some areas; culminating with the Central Weald, a picturesque, well-wooded upland of sandstones and clays, terminated in the east by the sea coast and cut into steep-sided stream valleys. Overall, it is a young landscape, predominantly shaped during the Pleistocene, with great contrasts, such as the high peaks of the west contrasting with the extensive flat plain of Romney Marsh in the east; or the well-wooded Central Weald contrasting with the sometimes virtually treeless South Downs.


Inversion tectonics Pleistocene denudation Denuded anticlinorium Chalk escarpments Geological controls Slope instability Alluvial terrains 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and EnvironmentLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK

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