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The Raised Beach and Rubble-Drift at Aldrington, between Hove and Portslade-by-Sea, Sussex. With notes on the microzoa, by Frederick Chapman, A.L.S., F.R.M.S., published 1899 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (no. 16 issue 5, article, pp.259-270)   View Online

Chapter X. The Chalk cliffs of Kent and Sussex, and the tertiary beds of Herne Bay, by George William Young, F.G.S., published 1910 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (vol. 1-20, P2, article, pp.256-269)   View Online

Chapter XI. The tertiary and post-tertiary deposits of the Sussex coast, by J. V. Elsden, B.Sc., F.G.S., published 1910 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (vol. 1-20, P2, article, pp.270-276)   View Online

A report on the agriculture and soils of Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, by Sir Daniel Hall and Sir Edward John Russell, published 1911 (v + 206 pp., London: H.M.S.O.) accessible at: East Sussex Libraries

A new fossiliferous deposit in West Sussex, by J. C. Ferguson, published June 1923 in Geological Magazine (vol. 60, issue 6, article, p.267)   View Online
At the southern end of Thorney Island, about three miles S.S.W. of Emsworth, in West Sussex, there are low cliffs of London Clay covered by Pleistocene deposits. The London Clay has been folded near the top, and its surface presents a series of basin-like depressions, 3 to 10 feet in diameter, and evidently caused by downward pressure. These basins are occupied by Pleistocene gravel, which contains numerous erratics-many of igneous rocks-and resembles the better-known Erratic Gravel of Selsey. The Erratic Gravel is covered by Coombe Rock and Brickearth, which form the top of the cliff, as shown in the diagram.

Pebbles of quartzite near Piltdown, Sussex, by Herbert L. Hawkins, published January 1930 in Geological Magazine (vol. 67, issue 1, article, pp.28-30)   View Online
In July of 1929 I visited the classic locality of Piltdown under the guidance of Sir A. Smith Woodward. After paying homage at the tomb of Eoanthropus we descended from the plateau to the low-level gravel terrace that flanks the flood-plain of the River Ouse. At a place known locally as Sharp's Bridge (marked on the accompanying map by a cross) there is a new but already extensive gravel pit. A spot-level on the map near the pit gives the approximate level of the top of the gravel terrace as 38 o.d.; the face of the pit is dug to a depth of from 8 to 10 feet below this level, and seems to reach down to about the level of saturation determined by the water of the river.

A Wealden soil bed with Equisetites lyelli (Mantell), by P. Allen, B.Sc., published 1941 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (no. 52 issue 4, article, pp.362-374)   View Online
This modern-looking horsetail was first described and figured by Mantell in 1833. Since then the only important contributions to our knowledge of the plant have been made by Seward [11, pp. 24-27]. Until recently Equisetites lyelli was known only from stem fragments whose relations to the whole plant were uncertain, and from apical buds and leaf sheathes from different-sized and differently-proportioned stems. In 1938 the author located near the base of the Wadhurst Clay in the Weald, an extensive fossil soil bed containing E. lyelli. The subterranean parts of the plants are there preserved as casts in their original position of growth, and the detached aerial portions of the erect stems occur as fragments in the 1-2 ft. of overlying sediment.
It has thus been possible to obtain for the first time a fairly complete idea of the main features of the plant as a whole. In this paper a description of these features is given and certain geological aspects of the new evidence are considered.

Notes on Wealden fossil soil-beds, by P. Allen, M.A., B.Sc., Ph.D., F.G.S., published 1946 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (no. 57 issue 4, article, pp.303-314)   View Online
The following appear to be the more significant of the new facts:
  1. Both soil- and rootlet-beds are frequent in the strata examined. It follows that the basin of deposition must have been shallow during much of Lower Wealden time.
  2. All but one of the soil-beds occur in transitional strata of very similar aspect. The upward change involved may be from dominantly arenaceous to dominantly argillaceous facies, or vice versa - which, appears to be irrelevant. Evidently, the conditions necessary for colonisation (by horsetails, at least) were strictly limited. The nature of the strata lead to the conclusion that colonisation was controlled by one or more of the following factors: depth of water, amount of movement of the water, size-distribution of the sedimentary particles, chemical nature of the sediment, rate of accumulation of the sediment. That other factors were sometimes limiting is shown by the occasional presence of similar transitional strata without horsetails.
  3. Though the data are scanty, there are indications of a positive correlation between the lithological similarity of the soil-beds and the taxonomic similarity of the plants they contain.
  4. The bulk of the recognisable plant-tissues are preserved as ferruginous substances. Carbonised and 'coalified' remains are unusual at all the horizons. Doubtless a phase of oxidising conditions formed part of the history of each.
  5. Contemporaneous erosion was not normally severe. Where considerable, it was confined to the frontal (S.E.) margin of the delta-complex

Subdivision of the Weald Clay in North Sussex, in Surrey and Kent, by J. W. Reeves, published 1968 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (no. 79 issue 4, article, pp.457-476)   View Online
The subdivision of the Weald Clay into three Groups, using the oldest and newest of a succession of red clay bands, so effective in Sussex, is only possible in the extreme west of this northern part of the Weald: in an area lying roughly between the Victoria-Brighton and the Lewes-Croydon railway lines and in Kent over some eighteen square miles, of which Headcorn is approximately the centre.
Over the whole of some fifty square miles of the outcrop to the north of Tunbridge Wells, red clays appear to be completely absent, although the other normal beds of the formation occur. Elsewhere parts of the three Groups have been traced. Red clays are occasionally recorded in the exploratory borings for the Kent Coalfield. The majority of these occur in the Hastings Beds. They form useful index horizons in attempted correlation.
The thickness of the Weald Clay decreases as it is traced eastward across the area, gradually at first and then more rapidly over the last few square miles. That a decrease is taking place to the north is shown from records of borings.

The soils of the Weald, by S. G. McRae and C. P. Burnham, published 1975 in The Proceedings of the Geologists' Association London (no. 86 issue 4, article, pp.593-610)   View Online
The soils of the Weald are determined largely by the nature of the underlying solid geology and the widespread distribution of superficial drift. Thirteen soil associations have been recognised and a map and extended legend are presented. For each association a general account of the soils is given, together with a discussion of the practical utilisation of the soils. Pedological problems worthy of future study are presented.

Soil erosion at Albourne, West Sussex, England, by John Boardman, published October 1983 in Applied Geography (vol. 3, no. 4, article, pp.317-329, ISSN: 01436228)   View Online
Few measurements of the rate of soil erosion from agricultural land in Britain have been published. Loamy soils in England may be particularly vulnerable to erosion. Thus, in a field of strawberries near Albourne at least 181 t ha -1 of fine loamy soil was eroded in a 9-month period; this is almost 100 times greater than a suggested 'acceptable' figure. Factors which have induced erosion at Albourne are: the removal of field boundaries; the choice of crop which left the ground bare for a prolonged period ; and the working of the land downslope. Other factors contributing to erosion are the low clay and organic matter content of the soil. The soil slakes and the resultant crust reduces the rate of infiltration of rainfall into the soil and this produces overland flow. Large amounts of rainfall are not necessary to cause erosion. Erosion in the Albourne area is probably a relatively recent phenomenon brought about by changes in land use.

Soil erosion, climatic vagary and agricultural change on the Downs around Lewes and Brighton, autumn 1982, by J. Boardman and D. A. Robinson, published July 1985 in Applied Geography (vol. 5, no. 3, article, pp.243-258, ISSN: 01436228)   View Online
Farmland on the Downs between Lewes and Brighton suffered severe erosion during the autumn of 1982. The erosion was widespread and affected a variety of topographic situations, but it was confined to areas of arable land and recently-sown grass leys. Erosion on the scale recorded during the autumn of 1982 has never previously been recorded from this area. Three major sites of erosion are described and explanations for the erosion are sought through an analysis of rainfall conditions experienced during autumn 1982 and in recent changes in agricultural land use on the Downs. It is concluded that, whilst total rainfall and the intensity of rainstorms were both unusually high, similar events are likely to recur several times a century. Evidence is presented which suggests that the ploughing up of permanent pasture, the removal of field boundaries and the increased adoption of autumn-sown cereals have all contributed to the onset of severe erosion. It appears that a major re-activation of erosion on the Downs may be commencing which threatens the long-term viability of farming in the area.

Anthropogenic Soil Erosion in Prehistoric Sussex. Excavations at West Heath and Ferring, 1984, by Peter L. Drewett, published 1989 in Sussex Archæological Collections (vol. 127, article, pp.11-30) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 10604] & The Keep [LIB/500302] & S.A.S. library

Damage to Property by Runoff from Agricultural Land, South Downs, Southern England, 1976-93, by John Boardman, published July 1995 in The Geographical Journal (vol. 161, no. 2, article, pp.177-191)   View Online

Soils, by David Robinson, published 1 January 1999 in An Historical Atlas of Sussex (pp.4-5, Chichester: Phillimore & Co. Ltd, ISBN-10: 1860771122 & ISBN-13: 9781860771125) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 14026][Lib 18777] & The Keep [LIB/501686][LIB/508903] & West Sussex Libraries & East Sussex Libraries

Storms, floods and soil erosion on the South Downs, East Sussex, Autumn and Winter 2000-01, by John Boardman, published October 2001 in Geography (vol. 86, no. 4, article, pp.346-355, Geographical Association)   View Online

Soil erosion and flooding on the Eastern South Downs, Southern England, 1976-2001, by John Boardman, published June 2003 in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (vol. 28, no. 2, article, pp.176-196)