Nature Gallery

Wales in the making

Wales - 500 Million Years In The Making

A selection of images that highlight the geology and geomorphology of Wales.

With a career as a Geologist I couldn't resist presenting a gallery of images that highlight some of the fantastic geology of Wales.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.