Gorges

Goredale Scar

Much of the scenery of the Yorkshire Dales is the result of glaciation and many of these topographical features (such as U-shaped valleys) are not special to massive limestone areas. When the glaciers retreated towards the end of the last ice age, they released a vast amount of water that flowed over the permafrost resulting in the formation of spectacular gorges cut into hard Carboniferous limestones.

Goredale Scar

Goredale Scar is a deep (up to 150 m) gorge. Some geologists have suggested that this gorge is the remains of an underground cavern whose roof collapsed around the time of the last ice age. Other geologists, however, believe that the gorge was cut by surface water when the glaciers were in retreat. The gorge ends in a high step that would have formed an impressive waterfall during the decay of the glaciers and the release of huge amounts of water. Today, the much smaller Goredale Beck cascades down the ravine.

Trow Gill

Trow Gill

Towards the end of the last ice ages, meltwater from the retreating ice cut the narrow, steep-sided gorge of Trow Gill near Ingleborough.

Watlowes

Watlowes

Watlowes, Malham, was eroded when the ground was frozen (permafrost) and a torrent of water was released from the glaciers. The water now disappears underground to leave a dry valley.