Carboniferous Cross Bedding, Lower Limestone Formation

Textures, Colours and Geology

Textures and colours of 320 million year old rock from Ravenscraig Beach, Kirkcaldy

Textures and colours of 320 million year old rock from Ravenscraig Beach, Kirkcaldy

I like this photo primarily because of the geology that it represents, but from an artistic point of view, it does have some interesting textures and colours.

Geologically speaking, it’s approx 320 million years old, and part of the Lower Limestone Formation. This sequence of mudstones, siltstones, sandstones and limestones were laid down at a point in time when, what was then Scotland, lay almost right on the Equator. These rocks were deposited in deltaic and shallow marine conditions, a similar environment to the Mississippi delta in the USA.

The rock above shows darker organic rich mudstones at its base, deposited in deeper water with little signs of flow movement. Above these muds are slightly coarser siltstones (pinks, greys and white fine bands), these would have been deposited in a slightly more energetic environment, with slight water flow (shallower water depth). Towards the top of the rock we can see fine cross bedded sandstones, which may well represent ripple beds, similar to the ripples formed by the tides flowing in and out on sandy beaches nowadays. These rocks were deposited just prior to the Coal Formation, which of course was a strong feature of the Industrial Heritage of Fife.

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9 thoughts on “Carboniferous Cross Bedding, Lower Limestone Formation

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