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Rock tapping, scratching and sweeping…

During the summer I have done lots of fieldwork to figure out how hard the foreshore platform around Boulby and Staithes is and why. Traditionally, rock hardness is measured with a Schmidt Hammer, invented by Ernst Schmidt (1948) to test concrete hardness in situ. I used Equotip durometer, an even less destructive and much lighter device, which has been recently applied in geomorphology.

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Despite variable weather, seven days on the Yorkshire coast have been very successful. I managed to get rock hardness results for nearly 300 sites along a 4-km long stretch of coast. At each site I applied similar procedure: acquisition of 10 Equotip readings, removing weathered layer (scratching with carborundum + sweeping) and acquisition of another 10 Equotip readings. Very good exercise! At 50 sites I additionally used Schmidt Hammer in order to be able to calibrate Equotip readings and relate them to previous coastal studies.

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The results, which I will present in two weeks at the annual meeting of the British Society for Geomorphology, show an interesting spatial link with geological and environmental settings.

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