Deep-water Turbidites

July 29, 2013

Somerset North Devon May 2013 256

Photographer: Peter Burgess
Summary Author: Peter Burgess

July 2013 Viewer's Choice This wonderful spot on England's southwestern coast, near the borders of the counties of Cornwall and Devon shows strata of Mid to Upper Carboniferous (Mississippian to Pennsylvanian), deep-water turbidites. They were laid down about 320 million years ago by turbulent flow of sand and mud down into a deep-sea basin. The marine basin was formed in front of an advancing mountain belt that was created ultimately by the collision of the African and Eurasian plates -- an event known as the Variscan orogeny. After the strata were deposited, buried and lithified to form rocks, they were caught up in the bulldozing effect of the advancing mountain front and buckled and folded into the fascinating geometries visible on this coast today. Their presence provides spectacular evidence of plate tectonics in action. The students in the foreground are MSc Petroleum Geoscience students studying at the Royal Holloway University of London. Photo taken on May 22, 2013.

Photo Details: Camera: SONY NEX-5; Lens: E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS; Focal Length: 18mm (35mm equivalent: 27mm); Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0050 s (1/200); ISO equiv: 200.

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