Clay

Characteristics

  • Clay is a sedimentary rock made of tiny particles which come from the weathering of other rocks and minerals.
  • The particles can be transported by rivers or ice and then deposited.
  • Clay vales are frequently found at the foot of chalk escarpments, eg in the South Downs of Southern England.
  • Clay collapses easily when wet (slumping) and forms gentle landscapes, which are frequently waterlogged.
  • It is impermeable and is characterised by having many surface streams.
  • Clay is high in nutrients and is not eroded easily.

Human activity

  • Quarrying - Clay is used to make pots and bricks, and in the manufacturing of paper.
  • Farming - The main land use is farming due to clay's high nutrient content and the characteristically flat landscape, making it accessible to farm machinery. The land is used for arable farming, market gardening and dairy farming.
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