Q Why has Weardale got so many waterfalls?
A Its geology. 300 million years ago the North Pennines, which were then located near the equator, were covered alternately by shallow tropical seas and river deltas, resulting in alternate layers of the bones of sea creatures, mud and sand being deposited. These deposits hardened into layers of limestone, shale and sandstone. The shales are worn away more easily by the rivers of Weardale resulting in lips of limestone and sandstone where waterfalls occur.
Q The geology of Teesdale is similar to that of Weardale so why are its waterfalls, like High Force, so much more impressive?
A The Whin Sill. This is layer of very hard igneous rock up to 70 metres thick which lies under much of County Durham and Northumberland. It was produced from magma flows, which instead of reaching the surface as volcanoes, spread out through the rock strata. The Whin Sill occurs at the surface in Teesdale but not in Weardale. Rivers erode the Whin Sill much more slowly than the layers in which it is embedded, producing the high waterfalls of Teesdale.
Congratulations on your Weardale Today Website. The whin sill does appear at the surface in Weardale as the Little Whin Sill at Stanhope where the river cuts a deep ravine at Briggen Winch. Just upstream from the bridge there is a modest waterfall where the fish jump is.
We’ll be out soon to take a photograph
Trying to think if the Wear had any waterfalls and came across this.id go up weardale a lot as a youth and none stuck in my mind.the Tees has,cauldron spout,high force and low force.the Swale, various but one is impressively in a town Richmond falls.the Tyne is more complicated as like the Nile!splits in two.theres one on the north Tyne at Bellingham.the ure has a lot but again it has one in a town,hawes (or is it a village?).