Area: 75.7 hectares.
Within Dartmoor National Park and County Structure Plan Nature Conservation Zone.
Adjacent to Meldon Aplite Quarry SSSI.
Description and Reasons for Notification:
Meldon Quarry provides classic exposures of complexly folded and faulted cherts, siliceous shales and tuffs of the Greystone Formation. The overall impression is of an open, upright anticline with an axial surface dipping steeply to the north. Recent re-interpretation of the Meldon Quarries and surrounds expose a section through the Greystone Nappe, and that the abundant high-angle faulting and the antiformal structure are merely modifications of the Nappe structures.
The site includes numerous examples of small-scale structures, sedimentological indicators of way-up and a number of instructive examples of larger folds, faults and soft-sediment deformation. Variscan structures have been recorded here over a period of some 30 years and, as a consequence, studies of this site have been extremely influential in the development of the understanding of the structure of the Variscides of south-west England. In fact, the site is structurally very complex, to the point that further research will inevitably be necessary to evaluate the detailed structure of the sequences exposed in the quarry and surrounding area.