A Slice of The Triassic

Triassic Sandstone Outcrop

Photograph taken August 2016, local walk, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 18-55mm lens.


This is what I call a true snapshot in time, a snapshot from our geological past. I have come across quite a few examples of these layers of exposed rock locally, and I have always been fascinated by the colours and patterns, and how nature clings to it for survival. The above example is from a local trackway cut in ancient times, close by the river where there is a sharp horse-shoe bend.

The rock is sandstone, which was laid down during the Triassic Period, some 270 to 180 million years ago, which was formed from ancient sand dunes. About 225 million years ago the Zechstein Sea, which covered the land back then, retreated from the centre of England, leaving behind a hot and semi-arid climate similar to present day North Africa..

Today we can see a slice of this Triassic desert through this bed of ancient sandstone which tilts at an angle, and although covered in moss, lichens and tangled tree roots, it shows the distinctive lines of individual layers, each representing a layer of sand, laid down over thousands of years.

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