Thursday, June 30, 2011

Newly Exposed Rock

Heavy spring rains caused flood waters to tear through the creek channels at Blue Jay Barrens. This is a point in the creek where high water slams into a rock wall and makes an abrupt 90 degree turn to the right. Water doesn’t like to turn corners and it expends a lot of its energy by tearing apart the obstacle that makes it do so. I benefit by having freshly exposed rock layers available for my personal viewing.

It’s always fun to examine a new rock face. It’s sometimes hard to comprehend the fact that this material has been hidden below ground for hundreds of millions of years. I feel privileged to be the one to greet it when it is finally exposed to the light.

There’s not much left to the roof of this overhang. The roots that once grew between the rock layers are now hanging down from the ceiling. I’m not sure that the rock is very stable now. I’ll have to remember this spot when I’m walking topside. I don’t want to witness the collapse as part of the falling debris.

The thicker limestone layers are more durable and will last for much longer. The fractures and the tilt to the bedrock are evidence of the prehistoric meteor impact that occurred here roughly 350 million years ago. It makes for some interesting geological finds.

One of the things I find most interesting is the distortion of thin rock layers. When these layers were originally formed they should have been oriented horizontally in parallel bands. The layers I see are rarely like that. I see thin bands that are broken or twisted or stretched or compressed or otherwise reconfigured into a unique pattern. It’s amazing to think of a single event producing enough heat and energy to make the rock malleable enough to shape into a new pattern.

This is one of my new favorites. Looks like someone made up a batch of caramel swirl ice cream. I’m not very knowledgeable about geology, but my niece is a super geologist. I’ll have to get her down here to explain to me what I’m looking at.


  1. HI Steve... Oh yes ..I did see the Spider in a previous post...scared me so bad I didn't want to even mention it thought it might jump right out at me...haha!!
    In yesterdays post you talked about the crown vetch..and that was planted here, along with Bristly Locust, and Autumn Olive for conservation on the highways....the A. Olive has reseeded , I assume from birds eating the berries ...and it all over I have it growing in places on my tree line!!
    I do like the smell of the flowers though!!
    What is the difference or name of the purple wild vetch that I have seen since I was a kid that grows in the field and roadside??

    Always thought I would have liked to be one of those people who poked around with rocks..then of course I wish I had studied botany ..oh well
    ...but that last photo does look like carmel swirl ice cream!!

  2. Interesting..are you speaking of the Mexican,Yucatan meteor or an other? I presume you found shocked quartz then as i would have thought Ohio shifting to be part of the new madrid fault in Missouri and historic earthquakes related to that and/or tectonic plate pressure.

  3. Hi, grammie g. I thought you were studying botany now. Next you can do geology.
    The Purple Vetch is more of a vine with little tendrils at the ends of the stems and the individual flowers are spread along the stalk. It's also a native plant. Crown Vetch flowers all grow from the same point at the end of the stalk.

    Hi, Michael. I referring to the meteor strike that created the Serpent Mound Disturbance now located in Northern Adams County. Check out my earlier posts for breccia and geology for more information.

  4. Serpent Mound crater..learn something every that's very cool!Thanks.