Rocks and Goose-Pimples

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 12:21
ThreadID: 69773 Views:1942 Replies:8 FollowUps:11
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Most travellers regard landscapes as backdrops. They see rocks as static, just sitting there.
But they don’t.
In the Blue Mountains, I stood close to the spot Charles Darwin stood at in 1836. Darwin was awed by those enormous excavations into the ground. ‘Subsidence’ he concluded. But Darwin was wrong. Weathering had changed a raised plateau into a skeletal landscape - threequarters of the original mass removed. Masses of rock gone somewhere else. I became aware that geology is not about something static; and that rocks move. They move more than we do because they have more time to do so - 60 million years at the Blue Mountains.
The walls of Banded Iron Formation in the Pilbara are oxidized layers of refuse when early life had learned the trick to eat via photosynthesis. One can almost hear the munching of those tiny critters. Again, geology is not about something static - it’s archived activity. That rock has things to say.
In the ancient Macdonnell Ranges there are sheer cuts through rock, billions of years old. An autopsy of old body Earth. Touch a rock - it’s like touching part of the original package. These rocks are not alive, but not quite dead either - infused with the stuff of Earth’s memory.
And a connection to the beginning.
That’s when rocks give me goose-pimples.
Greetings - Klaus and Rusty

(Those ‘Blue Mountains’ have been inscribed on the World Heritage List. If interested, have uploaded 2 short clips of them on my site).
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Reply By: Member - Troopy's Crew - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 12:43

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 12:43
Yes totally agree Klaus. The conglomerates in Echidna Chasm and the Olgas really speak of generations of rocks worn down and rebuilt. They make you realise just what insignificant specks of dust we really are. Goosebumps indeed!

Cheers,
Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: Member - Klaus J (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:32

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:32
Yes Val - and some of those conglomerate pieces were carried there by glaciers from as far away as today's Grampians.
Rocks DO get around!
Cheers - Klaus
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Reply By: Member - Ian H (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 12:47

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 12:47
The last rock to give me goose pimples was heading straight at my windscreen!
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Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 13:14

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 13:14
LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Klaus J (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:34

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:34
Hi Ian - got those type of goose pimples too when I had to pay $240.0 for a new windscreen a month ago.
Rocks can fly.
Cheers - Klaus
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 13:22

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 13:22
Close to civilization ( pffft ) is what looks like a huge stack of logs sticking out of a large mound of earth ... its actually rock. Its at a rest area on the Golden Highway near Gungal NSW.

Another interesting little collection of rocks is south of Bingara NSW on the way to Mt. Kaputa & Narrabri.

Looks like just a normal rocky creek line until you get close enough to see that the rock is compressed conglomerate from the front of a glacier .....

Glaciers near Narrabri ... that would have caused some goose pimples .... LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Klaus J (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:37

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:37
True - and lots of sweat before that when there were very active volcanoes at Mt.Kaputar and Warrumbungles.
Greetings - Klaus and Rusty
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Reply By: D200Dug- Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 19:57

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 19:57
There are some amazing rock formations out there, the age and layers of rocks always gets me. Finding 15 million year old sea shells along the Nulabour road in the middle of nowhere. looking at fault lines in open cut coal mines.

The earth tells wonderful stories to those willing to look and listen.
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Follow Up By: Member - Klaus J (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:42

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:42
Hi Dug, one of my first experiences which made me fall in love with Australia was when I stumbled over a sea shell near the Nullarbor railway line - very far from the sea. It actually triggered my interest in geology. Then I learned that the whole Nullarbor Plain is an elevated sea floor (there is quite a bit about it in the Geology section of my website).
Greetings - Klaus.
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Follow Up By: D200Dug- Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 17:52

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 17:52
http://www.flickr.com/photos/76729200@N00/2250576290/

Photo of a Graven or Grave fault at the Ensham coal mine I did a photo shoot out there a few years back.

I have been interested in rocks and geology since I was a kid at school.

I still stop at road cuttings when I can to have a look at what rocks and stuff are there.

I would love to spend more time looking for fossils and stuff :-)
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Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 22:25

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 22:25
Take a drive along Brachina Gorge in the Flinders Ranges and travel back 600 Million years. Mind boggling really.
You can see many forms of life that existed in that period along that road.

Dave
'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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Follow Up By: Member - Klaus J (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:47

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:47
Hi Dave, the following might interest you. I copied it from TIMELINES in the Geology section of my website:
'In May 2004 the International Commission on Stratigraphy made the first change to Geologic Timelines since about 120 years. A new Period EDIACARAN was slotted in between 600Ma and 540Ma, before the Cambrian. It was named after the hills in South Australia where geologist Rick Sprigg had discovered in 1946 an abundance of multi-celled soft-bodied marine species which suddenly had burst onto the scene. (New Scientist 22.4.2004)'.
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Reply By: The Top End Explorer - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:24

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:24
2.5 Billion years ago, the foundations were laid that would support the oldest rock formation on earth, this was in the form of a volcanic conglomerate rock layer.

1.8 Billion years ago a large Kambolgie sandstone formation started evolving, massive amounts of sand swept here over time, compressed into rock in layers.

1.6 Billion years ago this formation was pushed up tectonically, It stood between 1.5 to 2 km high, it now covered an area of 30,000 square km.

Every 100,000 years it erodes 1 metre, it now stands with an average height of 350 metres high, it is home to over 8000 Aboriginal art sites that have passed on knowledge for 1000 generations, it was formed before any living thing so there are no fossils, it provided shelter for 1000 of generations, it is also a world heritage site and every day I have the privilege to live next to it and walk around and through it.

This is the Arnhemland Escarpment, I grew up in the blue mountains as well, how lucky am I.

http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/kakadu/nature-science/geology.html

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Member - Klaus J (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:57

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 14:57
Hi Steve, you are very lucky indeed. And I thank you for that interesting link to Kakadu's/Arnhemland's geology. The Arnhemland Plateau and Katherine Gorge are next on my list to do some research on. So that link comes very handy.
Cheers - Klaus and Rusty
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Reply By: tim_c - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 12:50

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 12:50
I agree, the rocks are not static as static as most people think...

Climbing is now prohibited on the 'Three Sisters' in the Blue Mountains as they are being 'worn away' so quickly, apparently not as static as commonly thought.

The rates of change in rock formations is further evidenced by a couple of significant changes to well known landmarks on the Great Ocean Road (Victoria) in the last 20 years with the collapse of part of the "London Bridge" in 1990 (which left a couple of tourists stranded on a newly formed 'island') and the more recent collapse of one of the 'apostle' formations in 2005.
AnswerID: 370060

Follow Up By: Member - Klaus J (NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 15:03

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 15:03
Hi Tim, those sisters were once a large family. Today's Three are just the last survivors.
And there is a somewhat imprecise estimate stating that the coastline along the Great Ocean Road is receding between 5 and 15cm per 1000 years. That's 1.5km in the geologically very short period of one million years.
Contradicts a bit Mark Twain's beautiful saying "Nothing burries geology".
Greetings - Klaus and Rusty
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Reply By: D200Dug- Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 17:57

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2009 at 17:57
I must admit I have real problems with those people who insist the world and universe is about 6,000 years old.

I know they are entitled to their beliefs but it does seem to take much of the wonder out of the natural world the its wonders for me.


AnswerID: 370362

Follow Up By: Member - Klaus J (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:30

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:30
Hi Dug - I think they entitled to whatever they believe as long as they keep it within their four walls. But once they insist on teaching nonsense in schools - as they do in the US - then it becomes dangerous. Incredibly, the head of the Texas School Board is an arch creationist using the bible as a text book.
Greetings - Klaus
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Follow Up By: D200Dug- Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:34

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 14:34
Exactly I believe in the great flying spaghetti monster http://www.venganza.org/ But do I go round offering my Holy Pasta Vision to others ? ;-)

cheers Doug
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