Cove Limestone Member

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Cove Limestone Member (CVLS), Carboniferous, Northern England Province[edit]

Cove Limestone Member is a member of the Malham Formation and part of the Great Scar Limestone Group


See Arthurton et al. (1988[1]); Mundy and Arthurton (1980[2]). Malham Cove (SD 8975 6411) occurs in Yorkshire near the village of Malham, east of Settle.


Pale grey to very pale grey limestone, mainly medium- and coarse-grained calcarenite, bioclastic and peloidal packstones and grainstones, massive to weakly bedded. Subordinate micrites (‘Porcellaneous Bed’), variably fenestral, and clay beds occur locally, the latter occurring in places above palaeokarstic surfaces. The member generally produces a topography characterised by steep grassy slopes, although the uppermost 6 m forms a continuous scar, commonly with an overhang.


Partial type section occurs at Malham Cove (SD 8975 6411) where 72 m of the upper part of the Cove Limestone Member, including the top, is present (see Arthurton et al., 1988[1]).

Lower and upper boundaries[edit]

The lower boundary is drawn at the base of the pale grey limestone of the Cove Limestone Member where it rests conformably (but gradationally and slightly diachronously) on the mid–dark grey limestone of the Scaleber Quarry Limestone Member, Kilnsey Formation (Figure.15, Column.6), or locally, unconformably on Lower Palaeozoic strata, for example, at Crummack Dale (SD 781 707 to 767 710).

The upper boundary of the member is taken at a conspicuous bedding plane at the base of the scar-forming, pale grey limestones of the Gordale Limestone Member.


Some 72 m thick in its type section at Malham Cove (SD 8975 6411), and 114 m thick in the Cominco Borehole S2 (BGS Registration Number SD86SW/6) (SD 8491 6345), south of the Middle Craven Fault.


Southern part of the Askrigg Block, north of Settle (SD 77 to 97).

Age and biostratigraphical characterisation[edit]

Holkerian. The macrofauna of the Cove Limestone Member is poor, though diagnostic Holkerian foraminifers occur.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Arthurton, R S, Johnson, E W, and Mundy, D J C.1988.Geology of the Country around Settle.Memoir of the British Geological Survey, Sheet 60 (England and Wales).
  2. Mundy, D J C, and Arthurton, R S.1980.Field meetings: Settle and Flasby.Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, Vol. 43, 32–36.