Nature Gallery

Geoscience

Geoscience

A small selection of images that highlight geology and geomorphology

With a career as a Geologist I couldn't resist presenting a gallery of geology related images. These images form part of a much larger collection, that I am building to showcase geology and geological processes, and the interaction between geology, landscape, habitat - flora and fauna.

When the seas were warmer

Geology is a four dimensional subject, with time being the fourth dimension. Here at Southerndown layers or bed of limestone can be seen exposed in the cliffs, but the exposure on the foreshore brings the 2D cliffs into 3D. The beds of Jurassic Limestone are stacked with the oldest at the bottom, the forth dimension.

The Bigger Picture

Where we sit in the grand scheme of things. The Perseid meteor shower and the Mikly Way above Porth Cwyfan, Anglesey.

The Lady Cave anticline

Chevron folded Carboniferous sandstones, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire.
These beds o sandstone shale were compressed and folded during the Variscan Orogeny, a period around 300 million years ago, when southwest England became joined to the rest of what we now know as Britain. These rocks were crumpled up into down-folds (synclines) and up-folds (anticlines - like this one),

Saltmarsh

A saltmarsh of in the Dwyryd estuary near Porthmadog. In addition to being vitally important for wildlife, saltmashes capture and hold huge amounts of carbon and need protecting.

Pillow Lava

Some of the oldest rocks in the World, the Pillow Lava at Newborough on Anglesey and here at Porth Dinllaen.
When molten lava erupts into cold sea water, balls or pillows are formed.

Borth, Submerged Forest

Cantre'r Gwaelod. Around 6-8,000 years ago the sea level was lower than it it is today in relation to the land, and low lying forests grew in what is now beneath the sea along much of the Welsh coastline. This submerged forest at Borth is linked with the mythical Welsh kingdom of Cantre'r Gwaelod.

Wind Turbines off Rhyl

Future Energy. There are an increasing number of wind turbines off the North Wales coast. But what if any impact do they have on the migrating bird population. This image was published in National Geographic, March 2018.

Pistyll Rhaeadr

The 270ft Falls are one of the seven Wonders of Wales. Formed by a band of resistant intrusive volcanics, overlying softer Silurian mudstones.

The Gwna Mélange

The Gwna Mélange. Mixed blocks of schist and limestone, within a thrust zone. This is considered to represent deformation at a destructive plate margin. Aberdaron, Wales.

Kink Bands

Kink bands in chlorite schist, Nefyn, Wales

The Church Doors

An arch in near vertically bedded Carboniferous Limestone, Manorbier, Pembrokeshire

The Cilan Head Monocline

A faulted monocline in Cambrian and Ordovician sediments. Abersoch, Wales.
If you take a stack of paper sheets and push from both sides you create an 'S' shaped profile. These rocks were deformed in a similar way, through compression. Here at Cilan Head, the folded rocks failed and a fault developed.

Meander

The River Elan, near Rhayader, meandering on a small incised floodplain. The river is constantly changing position by eroding the outside of the bends where the current is fastest, and depositing sediment on the inside of the bends.

Cwmorthin Slate

The slate mines of Cwmorthin, Wales

The Elegug Sea Stacks

Sea stacks of Carboniferous Limestone near Bosherton, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The Dunraven Fault

The Dunraven Fault. A large reverse fault that juxtaposes Jurassic (left) vs Carboniferous (right).

The Three Chimneys

Vertical bedding in Silurian Sandstone, Marloes, Pembrokeshire

Monocline

A faulted monocline in Carboniferous Turbidites?, Broadhaven, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Roche moutonnée

A roche moutonnée with an erratic near Llyn Cau, beneath Cadair Idris, Wales.

Peeling back time

Joint patterns and bedding development in Jurassic (Lias) Limestone, Nash Point, South Glamorgan, Wales.

Gold in the gravel

There is gold in the gravel within which Salmon and Trout lay their eggs. Dolgellau, Wales

The Glacial Till Cliffs at Hells Mouth

The Quaternary (Devensian) cliffs of glacial till at Porth Neigwl or Hells Mouth, Llyn.

St Govan's Chapel

The Carboniferous Limestone and tiny chapel of St Govan, Bosherton, Pembrokeshire.

Mountain Stream

A high energy mountain stream, Capel Curig, Snowdonia, Wales.

The Brecon Beacons

The Devonian escarpment along the Brecon Beacons.

Trai Ceri Hut Circles

Bronze Age hut circles at Trai Ceri, overlooking the north coast of the Llyn Peninsular. How much of the landscape has changed since the Bronze Age people looked out from the hill.

The Anthropocene

What the Victorians built. A dam wall in the Elan Valley, Rhayader.

Little Haven Fold

A large anticline exposed at Little Haven, Pembrokeshire.

Then The Rains Came

A small mountain stream in Snowdonia begins its journey to the sea.

Parys Mountain

The abandoned opencast copper mine at Parys Mountain, Amlwch. Copper mined here was smelted in Swansea and used to provide a protective coat to the hull of British wooden warships to help gain an advantage of speed, over barnacle encrusted hulls, during the Battle of Trafalgar.

An upland bog

A precious habitat, at the source of the River Ystwyth. The River Ystwyth flows westwards and in the background is the valley of the River Elan, which flows in the opposite direction. The small hill at the back of the bog marks the watershed between the two rivers. Peat bogs store carbon and need protecting.

Semi-precious Jasper

Pebbles of red semi-precious Jasper on the shore at Aberdaron. As I child I used to search for such treasure, sewing the seeds for a career as a geologist.

Wave-cut platform

A wave-cut platform where Jurassic limestones have been eroded back, leaving a bedding plane with several remnant blocks.

Glacial Kettle Hole Deposits

At the end of the last ice age around 12-18 thousand years ago, blocks of ice were left behind which became buried in sand. Eventually the ice melted creating a hole into which coarse gravel was deposited. These deposits near Beaumaris, show the interface between what was the edge of a kettle hole.

Fluvial Dynamics

A split-level image through a small waterfall in Nant Peris, Snowdonia. I find it incredible that most of the bubbles seen from above the stream are restricted to the top couple of centimetres, almost defining a layer between air and water.

Sand re-distribution

Tiny rivulets with fractal geometry forming as the sand is eroded with a receding tide. Abersoch, Wales.

A sand spit

Here at Abersoch a sand spit is developing at the mouth of the River Soch.

Cwm Idwal

This amphitheatre was carved by one of many glaciers that fed the Nant Ffrancon glacier. Boulders were left when the ice melted and formed a barrier which allowed Llyn Idwal to form in the hollow.

The Abandoned Mines of Cwm Buchan

Wales has a rich mining heritage, from Roman copper mines on the Great Orme, to coal, lead and zinc, gold and copper. This is an abandoned aerial ropeway used to transport copper ore, at Cwm Buchan.

The Eglwyseg Escarpment

Carboniferous Limestone outcrop along the Eglwyseg Escarpment near Llangollen. The hill top castle of Dinas Bran sits on Silurian mudrocks.