All Our Own Water: Landscape evolution, caves and hydrogeology of Gower

A new book on the hydrogeology of Gower has been published by Professor Peter Kokelaar. Our Danilo Bettosi and Matthew Eynon provided some assistance in the form of unpublished borehole data on the depth of the Coal Measures bedrock beneath the Loughor Estuary between Crofty Point and the upper part of of the estuary in Pontarddulais.





“The author grew up on Gower, exploring, rock climbing and caving whenever possible. School provided the fascinating notion that local water-supply springs were partly fed from limestone hills far to the north, under the South Wales Coalfield. Free ranging on Gower ended when leaving school without A-levels but with a strong desire to work outside. In 2016, retiring as George Herdman Professor of Geology at the University of Liverpool, he returned to Gower and continued exploring, at last able to investigate sources of the springs and the development of the spectacular coastal scenery and caves. Discoveries include:

  • Evidence that Gower springs are fed only by Gower rainfall.
  • Explanations for the coastal platforms and slades.
  • Lundy volcano as a key to unravelling 60 million years of Gower landscape evolution.
  • Detailed limits and features of the Welsh Ice on Gower during the last glaciation.
  • Evidence that a glacier crossed eastern Gower to beyond the present coast.
  • Remarkable records of ancient processes and environments preserved in cliffs and rock falls.
  • Evidence that main Gower caves started forming at least 10 million years ago.
  • Iconic Patella Beach reinterpreted as a super-storm deposit.
  • Rare exquisite microrills in limestone proving the former existence of sand dunes.
  • Chemistry and turbidity of springs recording remarkable drought and flood processes.
  • Glacial conditions and catastrophic debris flow recorded in main caves.
  • Half million-year-old cockle shells delivered from Carmarthen Bay to central Gower by ice.”

Orders for the book can be placed directly with Professor Kokelaar here:


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