A vast river delta like that of the modern Mississippi river, disgorging huge thicknesses of sand and mud into a hot, equatorial sea. Coarse, gritty sands built up on the floors of the river channels, eventually forming thick beds of sandstone. Buried deeply under Bingham, these are the same sandstones that form the spectacular gritstone edges and tors of Derbyshire's Dark Peak. These sandstones are porous and, at depth, capable of holding oil and natural gas. These resources were the target for the Bingham Oil borehole, but geological conditions proved unfavourable and the well was dry.

A typical tor of Millstone Grit in the Derbyshire Peak District
(Reproduced by permission of the British Geological Survey. © NERC. All rights reserved. IPR/24-3C)

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