Ringstead Bay Rock Textures & Patterns – Part 1

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These pictures show details of the colour, texture, and patterns in vertical and horizontal exposures of the rocks of the Ringstead Clay Member (also known as the Ringstead Waxy Clays) at Ringstead Bay in Dorset, England. This is in the upper part of the Corallian Formation belonging to the Jurassic Period. It comprises four different layers or strata that reach a combined thickness of up to 5 metres. The clay deposits contain bands of reddish-brown, siderite nodules (iron carbonate) that are responsible for the rusty or ferruginous colouration of the otherwise brown and grey clay. There are interesting patterns of cracks where the clay is drying out; and changes of colour tone according to the moisture content of the clay. The most obvious fossils in this particular clay group are the large, flat, almost triangular, oysters – Deltoideum (Liostrea) delta.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2014

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6 Replies to “Ringstead Bay Rock Textures & Patterns – Part 1”

  1. The cracks and grey colour remind me of the Kimmeridge Clay at Chapman’s Pool. We took a little piece back with us with a fossil in it. Unfortunately we left it outside the back door, and after one night of rain a fossil formed over millions of years was no more. I find it incredible that these cliffs have lasted this long.

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  2. The Ringstead Clay has similarities in its general appearance to the Kimmeridge Clay that succeeds it – but there are more ammonites in the Kimmeridge Clay – especially where you found one in the outcrop at Chapman’s Pool. Lots (but not all) of those ammonites are just crushed shelly remains of ammonites and an impression of the original shape in the clay; or maybe only an impression or mould. So it was sad but inevitable that your fossil would dissolve in the rain.

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