Portland rock textures: Texture of exposed rock strata resembling interwoven tears like the cooling wax that has dribbled from a giant guttering candle, on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (1)

Rocks are beautiful. At least, in the eye of this beholder! There is an infinite variety of rock compositions, forms, shapes, patterns, colours, textures, and structures. The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, that stretches along the shorelines of Dorset and Devon in the UK, is particularly rich in different rock types from different geological eras – frequently with a multitude of characteristic fossils too.

These photographs show some of the rock textures to be found along the coastal path from Freshwater Bay to Portland Bill on the east side of the Isle of Portland in Dorset. The rocks are coloured and patterned with hues of grey, black, cream and orange, some with an amorphous surface coating of precipitated crystal, some bare – just as first exposed by the quarrying. Some rocks have smooth textures. Others, are veined and varicose. Occasionally, rock surfaces resemble interwoven tears like the cooling wax that dribbled from a giant guttering candle. The surfaces can be rough, knobbley and striated – looking like they have been knitted in purl stitches. While in other places, the rock surfaces seem to have been unequally weathered by the elements to create hollows in a honey-comb texture.

Jurassic Coast rock textures: Texture of exposed rock strata, smooth with a crystalline coating precipitated from dissolved minerals seeping out of the bedding planes, on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (2)

Portland rock textures: Rock texture from the Isle of Portland, Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (3)

Portland rock textures: Smooth, marbled rock texture from the Isle of Portland, Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (4).

Jurassic Coast rock textures: Rough rock texture (looking like two-toned knitting with purl stitches) on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (5)

Rock textures on the Jurassic Coast: Honey-comb rock texture, perhaps caused by uneven weathering, from the Isle of Portland, Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site (6) 

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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