More rocks in the dry stone wall at Rhossili in Gower, South Wales. The stones are mostly different sub-types of Carboniferous Limestone. Two specimens here show striations of unknown origin but which could be natural sedimentary stratification – highlighted by black lichen in one of them.

This is one of a series of photographs that were taken while walking along the path from Rhossili village towards the Worms Head Causeway.

7 Replies to “Stones in the Wall 9”

  1. Not sure if it’s just geologists or those that are just taught in the script of the stones that get excited about rock assemblages such as these. The form of the wall itself with its contrasting assemblage of rock type , colours & shapes are no doubt of mindful interest to many – including myself!
    The parallel lines in the grey limestone to the left of the centre in the picture are of interest as these could actually be an example of glacial striae and as such the rock represents a record in time of the direction of flow of glaciers that scoured the earth’s surface.
    Think the old adage “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” is a bit of a paradox as what you see doesn’t really matter sometimes – it’s what you look at because what one sees in all likelihood may not be the same as someone else!

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  2. Thank you, Chris. An interesting way of looking at things.
    I have seen and photographed glacial striae in Canada and Ireland, but I have not previously noticed any in Gower – although I know that the ice sheet extended part of the way along the peninsula. Something to watch out for in future. Thank you.

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  3. Thanks Jessica. What is clear is that the wall has a big sensory appeal and presents a great assemblage of erratics – both locally sourced and further travelled. The glaciation history and structure of Gower – its raised beaches, till deposits etc, is an an interesting topic that potentially opens a big door….I’m yet to find examples of in situ striae in Gower, and will certainly make a point of looking in future. I’m lucky enough to live not that far away in a place where in-situ striae can be evidenced in limestone of likely similar provenance which potentially opens another door…Looking forward to visiting your wall & exploring a little further.

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  4. Yes, there is much food for thought here. Some of the rocks in the wall may have come from the freeze-thaw phenomenon of the inter-glacial periods that shattered exposed rocks on Rhossili Down, and these gravitated down onto the solifluction terrace, and eventually the shore. Other stones may also have been quarried from the cliffs.

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