Another geological expedition, the Crackington formation is one of not many sites in the UK that exhibits exposed shale, as normally, this would be a good mile into the eath's crust. To be able to look, feel and remove shale from a place of its origin, see a gigantic formation and knowing what I was looking at, brought a sense of achievement to my practice, like a learning target.
Located in North Devon, this formation comprises of interbedded sandstones and shales with some zig-zag folds. 'All of it being spectacularly folded by Variscan earth movements. Close examination of the sandstones shows many features formed by rapid turbid flows of intermixed sediment and water, where the underlying sea-bed muds were ripped and gouged by the currents, now preserved as casts in the underside of the sandstone beds.'1,
I experienced the sounds of those currents in the background of my geological hammer's rythmic thumping. It was by using strenght and skill, that I handled and collected the rock: it felt like carving a gigantic piece of wood, as I tried to get a variety of sizes and shapes out of the earth's crust. The hardness of the two different types of rock helped me understanding their mass and made me feel like I learnt how to distinguish sandstone from shale. The spectacle of the vast cliffs overwhelms me. I can see the big formation in small patches, selected frames of the stone replete landscape I found myself in. The fractalian nature of the world was clearer than ever, and even in the smaller samples, the shapes in which the augmentation manifests itself is exponential. I was able to see the molecular structure principle.
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1 - 'Carboniferous sandstones and shales', Laming D., Roche, D., Devon Geology Guide, Devon Council