The Merrivale area has a number of tors, including Roos Tor, Cox Tor and the Staple Tors. These tors were exposed when the overlying material was eroded by periglacial activity. They are surrounded by areas of clitter (rock debris) and blockfields (flat or gently sloping areas of frost-shattered rock), and boulder runs are also present.
The slopes around Cox Tor display a number of unusual earth hummocks. These vary considerably in size and shape but can be up to two meters in diameter and about 0.5 metres high. They are generally composed of a fine silty loam that, again, resulted from weathering during the Ice Age.
This area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest within Dartmoor National Park.
**Please note that this area of Dartmoor is common land to which there is free access on foot. Merrivale Granite Quarry is private property. The land immediately to the north of the site is used by the MOD as a firing range and is therefore classed as a ‘Danger Area’, access is subject to restrictions – see www.dartmoor-ranges.co.uk