Weekly Photo Challenge – Satisfaction – Local Geology

Upper Limestone Formation Channel Channel sandstones marked with red lines

Regular readers of my blog will have, no doubt, already have guessed that I will post one of either two things that give me ‘satisfaction’, ie either a photo of some old chimneys, or, as in this case, some photos of Fife’s local geology.

All of the following rocks were deposited at a time when this part of Scotland was covered by a vast delta (bigger than the present day Mississippi), and the low lying land was covered in rich jungle like vegetation. This was a perfect situation to allow for the formation of coals, and up until fairly recently, coal was the most important economic product of Fife. These rocks can all be found in the cliffs below Ravenscraig Castle Park, near Kirkcaldy, in Fife.

Upper Limestone Formation Channel Channel sandstones marked with red lines
Upper Limestone Formation Channel Channel sandstones marked with red lines

The first two photos (above), show parts of river channels in cross section (they are marked by the red lines). These channels would have been much bigger at the time in which they formed, but obviously, nothing like as big as the main river channel. They have been much compacted by the weight of the overlying sediments – probably a few thousand feet of sediment has been worn away, to the point where we see them today on the beach. NB the blocks of stone above the sedimentary strata form part of an old wall, built from the surrounding rocks.

The next three photos show organic material (black), probably mainly coal fragments, concentrated in a white leached sandy siltstone.

Passage Formation - Organic rich bands in white sand-siltstone below massive sandstones
Passage Formation – Organic rich bands in white sand-siltstone below massive sandstones

These beds form part of the Passage Formation (approx 317 million years old). The other rocks shown in this post are from the Upper Limestone Formation, and are approx 322 million years old.

Passage Formation - Organic rich bands in white sand-siltstone below massive sandstones
Passage Formation – Organic rich bands in white sand-siltstone below massive sandstones

 

Location of the above two photos of silts and massive sandstones
Location of the above two photos of silts and massive sandstones

The final two photos show some crossbedding, which forms as the various riverlets migrate across the flood plains, depositing sands (cross beds) on the inner bends of meanders, and eroding material from the outer sides of the meanders.

Upper Limestone Formation - Channel Cross Bedded Sandstone
Upper Limestone Formation – Channel Cross Bedded Sandstone

 

Upper Limestone Formation - Channel Cross Bedded Sandstone
Upper Limestone Formation – Channel Cross Bedded Sandstone

 

 

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43 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Satisfaction – Local Geology

      1. It is a wonderful way to spend a day Roda πŸ™‚
        That’s something we don’t seem to get much of on our beaches up here, is sea glass. When I was a kid, my cousin and I used to go down to the beach at Penzance, I’d collect pebbles, and she would collect sea glass, she used to have loads of the stuff πŸ™‚ I remember at first she told me it was special gems, and me being quite gullible back then, I believed her! Lol! πŸ™‚

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  1. Love this post!!! I can spend a very happy day walking around the rocks on my local coastline, marveling at the amazing micro-formations, even though I can’t read them as you do. We have the same sort of compacted sandstone /mudstone base material, but with lots of volcanic material and distortion thrown in. One of my favourite beaches has the remains of a lava flow from the eruption that created Lake Pupuke (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Pupuke). It flowed over a forest, leaving preserved moulds of the tree stumps.

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    1. Wow!!! That must be amazing, you don’t often get to see fossils preserved by lava flows, it no doubt happens quite often, but I’ve not ever heard of such things, certainly not here in the UK. It’s equally amazing Su, to have such a crater right on your doorstep, in the middle of a city! πŸ™‚
      Oddly enough, your surrounding geology is fairly similar to that of Cornwall, lots of contact metamorphism, which is another fascinating side of geology. The main difference being the age of the rocks, in Cornwall most of the volcanic/intrusive activity occurred 400-200 million years ago, but your really lucky, it’s happening right now for you πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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      1. πŸ™‚ Auckland is built on about 50 or so volcanoes. The last erupted about 600 years ago and gave us a very picturesque and iconic island just off-shore. Unlike most parts of NZ south of here, Auckland has a fairly low earthquake risk, but we do live with the possibility of a new volcano emerging in our backyards. πŸ™‚

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      2. I know it wouldn’t be great if you live in the direct path of an emerging volcano, but to see one actually form would be brilliant!!!! 600 years is a very short amount of time geologically, so you definitely have active volcanics close by, which of course makes sense, seeing as you are in the infamous ‘Ring of Fire’ (not the eating a hot curry ring of fire!), but the ring of volcanoes around the outside of the Pacific plate where it is subducting under various continental plates.

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      3. Hehe. Evidence of our busy geology is everywhere, from thermal hot pools just up the road to the almost constant earthquakes that jiggle NZ around. Intellectually, it would be amazing to see a volcano form but I am quite attached to my garden in its current form.

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      4. Lol!!! I think I would rather see my house and garden stay intact, instead of a volcano forming in my backyard, but it would be a close thing!!
        I think I’ve said it before, your active geology makes me most envious, but I guess if I actually lived with it, it would lose some of its appeal πŸ™‚

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      5. This being Auckland (home of terribly inflated property prices), we both fear backyard volcanoes, and wonder if we’ll be able to build apartments on the extra land — in about equal measure. πŸ™‚

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      6. Lol!!! You’ve still most definitely got your Celtic sense of humour and scepticism, Su, it’s brilliant!!! πŸ™‚
        And I see from what you say, over inflated house prices is getting to be a world wide problem!!!! 😦

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      7. The dreaded elections, I quite like politics in small doses, but the build up to an election is always pretty awful, or certainly is over here. It’s constantly one side slagging off the other side, and they all tend to lie profusely at such a time 😦
        No doubt your house prices will get included somewhere in there!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I’m a bit the same. Our Labour Party has literally just dumped the leader and elected an shiny new one a few weeks out from the election. At least it’s made the campaigning a bit more interesting.

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      9. Oddly enough, our labour leader almost went the same way before our last general election, but thankfully he wasn’t replaced, the Tories were set to have a landslide victory, but in the end, it was a really close election!! Unfortunately Jeremy Corbyn didn’t win, but at least he was relatively close – he’s ‘old’ labour, and as far as I’m concerned, got some really sensible policies.

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      10. Our “old” labour leader was — despite his union background — a bit too “new left”, mainstream and wishy-washy. The new one is probably closer to “old” labour and, like Jeremy Corban, will probably capture the imaginations (and votes) of young people. My son is already talking about how his voting intentions have changed a bit. We have a version of proportional representation here, so we have two votes — one for a constituency MP and the other for a Party. Parliament is made up of a mix of people elected both directly and via their party’s list. For many people, voting is a very strategic exercise. It will be interesting!

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      11. Your new Labour leader certainly sound alright…………. it’s almost a miiror image to what happened over here, I’m sure Ed Milliband was a very nice person, and knew what he was talking about, but unfortunately, he was far too wishy washy too!!! It was quite clear very early on, that the general populace was never going to vote him in as a primeminister!
        Your system of voting for your GE, is identical (well almost), to that used in the Scottish parliament, and it’s a much fairer system, and seems to work really well πŸ™‚
        The UK system of first passed the post is almost criminal, it’s often the case that a party wins with about 30% of the total vote. That’s just soooo wrong! At least with PR, that party may well still win, but they won’t have an overall majority in parliament, which obviously means you have consensus style decisions, that seems to work quite well up here in Scotland πŸ™‚

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      12. πŸ™‚ I didn’t know the Scottish parliament worked on a similar system, but I’m not surprised. Everything I read about it suggests that it does actually WORK! I agree that first past the post is terrible. We’ve had MMP for over 20 years, but people still seem to have a two-party mindset. It is changing, and it will be really interesting to see how strategically people vote this time around. πŸ™‚

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  2. Excellent photos and clear explanation. Thank you! When you mention the jungles growing in Scotland this would have been in the era when the precursors to horses were nibbling fruits in those jungles. They had sharp little mouths perfect for picking fruit off the trees. I enjoyed seeing the history in your photos of the rock formations.

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    1. Thank you Anne, I love the extra bit of info about the horses!!! πŸ™‚ I’ll need to keep an eye out for fossilised horse hoof prints! We do get fossilised worm burrows, and I’ve often seen ripple marks like those you get on a sandy sea shore, so hoof marks aren’t totally out of the question! πŸ™‚

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      1. there have been some hoof prints found .Some are in Wyoming and also Germany and somewhere else, possibly Africa but I can’t remember where. They had three or two toes then not like the single hoof they have now and they were quite small.

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  3. Gorgeous photography. I admire the beauty and work that was put into these paintings have given. I am a rock hoarder. I seem to find at least one calling my name no matter where I go. There’s a bowl outside my front door (quite full) that reminds me to check my pockets. I have washed and dry tumbled so many by accident. I appreciate these photographs so much.

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    1. Thank you for all of your very kind and thoughtful comments Angie πŸ™‚
      It’s good to know I’m not the only rock hoarder out there, even though I tend to photograph them now, rather than bringing them home. And LOL!! I have heard, many a time, that dreaded “CLUNK!! CLUNK!! CLUNK!!”, as a small rock spins around in the tumble dryer!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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