Tuesday, 8 April 2014

G is for Geology, Gneiss, Groynes, ‘Grippers’ ...


The Geology of Britain is renowned for its diversity.  

See Wiki for the index
As a result of our eventful geological history we have a rich variety of landscapes and seascapes.



Dogger Bank ringed in red
Storegga Slides, off the Norwegian coast  – 8,500 years ago these underwater slides had a huge impact on Norway, Scotland, our North Sea coasts ... and particularly on the North Sea itself ...


...  it is thought finally swamping Dogger Bank, (a large sandbank in a shallow area of the North Sea)  thus separating Britain from the European Continent ...



Great Glen fault
The Great Glen Fault formed in the mountain building tectonic movement era ... stretches sinistrally across Scotland ... through Ireland, and on into North America ... being aligned at one stage with the Cabot Fault.  It is mostly inactive today ...



Britain’s rocks are of almost all geological ages from the Archean Eon of  2,500 million years ago or older ... to the younger rocks of the Cretaceous period (145 – 66 million years ago) found down here in Sussex – the crumbling cranky chalk cliffs – that are so good for champagne and wine!


 
Outcrop of weathered Lewisian
Gneiss in north-west Scotland
Seismogaphical research shows that the crust of the Earth below Great Britain is from 25 to 35 km (17 – 22 miles) thick.  The oldest rocks are found at the surface in north-west Scotland and are more than half as old as the planet! 



Wooden groynes at Eastbourne protecting
the beach from the wave action as it rounds
Beachy Head


Groynes are a Victorian engineering invention to protect the coast against long-shore drift ... protecting the beach from the wave flow, as here in Eastbourne.




Groynes at Mundesley, Norfolk


G for “Grippers” are those intertidal creatures that have responded to the rocky seashores with the most unforgiving habitat, as waves pound unyielding stone.




Limpets various
Limpets, are a good example, with their volcano-shaped shells that present little resistance to waves, while the periwinkle’s shell is thick, tough, and rounded, so that if detached it is soon rolled to rest in a gulley.


These are the champion Grippers - the supreme rock clingers!


Gripping feet:  starfish and sea-urchins have hundreds of tiny “tube feet”, while limpets and sea-snails have a single large suction foot.


Goose Barnacles

Gripping by a stalk: Goose barnacles ... once people believed these barnacles hatched into geese.  Their tough stalks can grip any floating debris and live on ... at sea, or in the inter-tidal zone as here as their shore relatives.


Undeformed Scourie dyke cutting the
Lewisian Gneiss ...



And this picture of the Scourie dyke is just an amazing photo of gneiss, the dyke, and lichen of varying ages ... I had to include it!




That is G for ginormous Geology, granite Gneiss, gravel embedded Groynes, grouping Grippers ... grappling for Aspects of British Coasts ...


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

41 comments:

Sharon Himsl said...

I guess I never think of Britain in this way, but of course it makes sense there would be old fault lines, with the shifting and breaking away of land in the past. I wonder though...do you have earth quakes there?
Shells–Tales–Sails

kaushikgovind said...

Geography was my favourite subject in high school. Glad to know more about the geography of Britain from your posts :) Waiting for the next posts :)

Ida Chiavaro said...

a ginormous gripping geological geography lesson indeed - I am a little all over the place at this stage of the #atozchallenge, I just read through your E and F posts too, and I just keep thinking of how much I want to head to the British seaside.. glad that sinister fault is inactive now

Lynn said...

This just makes me want to the coastline over there. Lovely.

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I had no idea our geology was so diverse, go on you Blighty :). It is really amazing how animals manage to live in such rough conditions isn't it.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

P V Ariel said...

Great post.
Thanks for sharing
these information
Good tobe here again
Phil

klahanie said...

Hi human, Hilary,

Actually, great pawst! Thanks for sharing! Sheesh...

A lot of humans assume that Britain is only the green and pleasant land. You have shown there is so much more.

Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

Brian Miller said...

those grippers add some pretty amazing texture to the shore though...i need to get back to the ocean here...spring break next week so we may be taking a trip...

Mason Canyon said...

When I think of fault lines, I think of California not Britain. It's interesting to learn about.

Bob Scotney said...

I studied geology as a general subject in my degree course so this post is of special interest to me.

I have a photo of my wife in a bikini standing next to a sign which read, "Unauthorised access to this groyne is not permitted."

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trisha F said...

I was never any good at Geology or Geography for whatever reason (well, probably my lack of science and mathematics nous) but it's always fascinated me as well. I particularly love learning about totally ancient rocks (like those you mentioned) and faults on the ocean floor, etc.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

Hilary, all I can say is your energy must be Ginormous, because where you find the strength to do the A-Z challenge every year and to visit so many blogs I just dob't know + i can only admire your blogging dedication! :) Good luck with H - Z!! :)

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

I get to experience another part of the world through you and I enjoy it!!!

I'm showing my ignorance, are goose barnacles a plant or fish kind of life.

Julie Jordan Scott said...

Your limpet photo is so pretty! It makes me want to walk along the beach looking for them!

Your posts are so visually appealing and so rich with information.

Thank you for all the work you do here...


Julie Jordan Scott
The Bold Writer from A to Z

Welcome to my world of verse. said...

You amaze Hilary how you gain all this knowledge, excellent post and interesting to read.
Yvonne.

Julie Flanders said...

I learned a lot with this post because I'd never heard any of the title words except geology. The grippers are amazing, I can't imagine how they are able to keep holding on like that.

slfinnell1965 said...

How ironic I read this as my youngest daughter is preparing her rock exhibit for a Science fair :) I'll be cornering her this afternoon to check out you post! *another a to z blogger

Robin said...

As always, interesting stuff here. I never thought of fault lines even running under the UK... I guess because, as you say, they are mostly inactive.

All of the rock and coast pictures make me want to visit.

cleemckenzie said...

I find anything geological fascinating. I didn't know about Storegga Slides! I would have hated owning that real estate.

The groynes are still holding back the sea action and protecting the shore? Positively amazing.

Lisa said...

OMG, where do you find this stuff?! Your ability to make anything sound interesting is amazing! I especially liked the geology info and would love to go to northwest Scotland to see those ancient rocks... I always wondered about the shapes of the mountains and lochs up there. Makes total sense now.

Paula said...

I have never even heard of many of these words and yet I come away feeling very educated. Thanks Hilary

Silvia Villalobos said...

Grippers are some interesting creatures, Hilary, but I was really amazed by the geology of how Britain was separated from Europe. I'm sure I knew the story at some point, but I'd forgotten, so thanks for the lesson. The British coast is gorgeous and truly amazing.

Manzanita said...

There is sooo much I don't know and didn't take the trouble to learn this time around. Shame on me. And what's this with crumbling chalk mountains and wine and champagne? You got me on all counts. But thank you once again for being my teacher. I just bought my last 2 baby chicks this morning and that makes 5 back yard chickens. The coop is being constructed even as I write. I'm once again so excited I could squeal. Means I'm an Oinkette

Ann said...

What an interesting post. Isn't the diversity all around us is just amazing and how creatures adapt to even the harshest of surroundings.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Those of us away from Britain do not think about its faultlines. I haven't heard about any recent earthquakes there though.

Always a fascinating post with you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Must've been one drunk sailor who came up with the idea geese came out of those barnacles!

Rosie Amber said...

I love this better and more educational than my geography lessons at school. So love all those G words.

Jo said...

I remember, in recent years '12 or '13, seeing a programme about the geologic history of the British Isles. I had no idea Scotland was once attached to the Americas and that, because of the Great Glen Fault, it isn't really connected to to the British Isles today. It was an incredible series and your blog reminded me of it. As usual, very interesting Hilary.

Fanny Barnes Thornton said...

Hi Hilary - I had a problem getting the comment forms up earlier (very strange).
I never knew those fixtures were called 'groynes'. The Victorians were brilliant, except for bringing that Japanese Knotweed over. Did you read about it being indestructible, growing through concrete and into houses etc.?
LOL - goose barnacles hatching into geese - it's amazing what people will believe.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sharon - I like being able to use my posts to reflect different aspects of Britain - and open everyone's eyes in a different way ..

Earthquakes - we have some tremors ... not very serious, and we're not in a quake zone - but the earth does move ...

@ Kaushik - I too loved Geography and it's helped me understand the world in many ways .. and help me write these posts as well as others ...

@ Ida - well we can't be everywhere can we .. I'd love to be able to do more in the A-Z - but I need to be here too ..

Thanks so much for reading the posts ... and that fault seems to be static for now ...

@ Lynn - you'd be a welcome visitor .. we've lots to share and for you to see ..

@ Tasha - Great Britain is amazing and so different to other places ... but it's good to know about - and I'm so pleased you're enjoying the learning parts of the posts ..

When we think of how plants and animals adapt - it's extraordinary and magical isn't it ...

@ Phil - thanks so much for coming by ..

@ Gary - yes we have such a lot of varied landscapes and sea-scapes .. with lots of other aspects available too ..

@ Brian - I loved the word 'grippers' and really wanted to include those creatures ...

I hope you can make your ocean visit a certainty ..

@ Mason - you've got the active fault lines - in the various earthquake zone rings ... I'm quite glad they're not here!

@ Bob - ah I remember you studied geology - delighted you're enjoying the posts bringing back some of those lectures and field trips ...

What a fantastic comment "your wife in a bikini standing next to a sign which read "Unauthorised access to this groyne is not permitted"" - such fun to read ..

@ Trisha - I used to love Geography .. and it still fascinates me now - as you can see ...

I was interested in the Storegga Slides, as well as the ancient rocks - so was pleased to write about it all ..

Cheers .. and I'll be back to reply to the next comments - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Judy - so good to see you .. I enjoy the A-Z challenge and now I have goals to fulfil ...

Thanks if I wrote books I might well be doing something else - but I enjoy teaching myself history, geography, etc etc .. and thus everyone who visits ...

@ Teresa - it's great you can look at these posts in that way - as a learning experience ..

Goose Barnacles are barnacles - ie filter-feeding crustaceans ..

@ Julie - the limpet collage was a nice find ... but I try and use photos that describe my posts ..

So pleased you enjoy effect I create in my posts ...

I enjoy what I do ...

@ Yvonne - many thanks I teach myself as I go ..

@ Julie - well I'm delighted to put a little teaching out there and open eyes to other words ... grippers grip!

@ Slfinnell - good to meet you - and as you say how coincidental that your daughter is preparing her rock exhibit - wish her well for her Science Fair ... sounds a great idea for the children ...

Let her know what she thinks of my posts!! I'll be over to see you soon ..

@ Robin - I love learning about our geology and history; it would be lovely if you could make your way over to visit ..

@ Lee - me too - I love geology and geography - always fascinates me ...

I knew there'd been lots of geological upheaval between Scandinavia and northern Europe, which included Great Britain at that stage - so it was interesting to be able to put it into context here ..

It's our sandstone and chalk cliffs that are being worn away at a great rate ..

The groynes are a great invention and yes - they still protect our beach here at Eastbourne ..

@ Lisa - I just need to find a coastal subject beginning with each letter and when I look around - there are quite a few interesting subjects ..

I quite fancy a trip up to NW Scotland to see the gneiss .. it does look amazing .. and I'm glad I've helped you understand a little ..

@ Paula - glad it's given you something else to think about ...

@ Silvia - our separation from Northern Europe always amazes me too .. and how it happened - just broke through .. but there's been so much change to the land over the millennia ...

Grippers - just had to use the word!

@ Manzanita - there's so much to learn and I just enjoy sharing what interests me - delighted others do too ..

The crumbling chalk cliffs and wine and champagne - all good things over here ..

Mind you - I don't have chickens .. but they'd be rather good to have too .. Good luck with your chicks ... fun to see, look after etc ... no wonder you're squealing ..

@ Ann - exactly as you've said ... we have so much diverse geology around us and how nature has over time adapted to whichever period of life we're in ...

@ Roland - well thankfully those fault lines are set for the moment - well the Icelandic one has quaked recently ..

We have the occasional tremors ...

@ Alex - I know .. the myth arose because no-one realised that birds migrate ... and had thought the birds were 'born' from the barnacles ... strange but true!

@ Rosie - delighted you're enjoying the posts .. I sort of mix and match in all my posts ..

@ Jo - Pangea - before the continents split apart .. Eurasia was attached to North America ..

The Fault line still goes across the Atlantic and Iceland has a huge live fault line too ..

Glad you enjoyed remembering that programme on our British geology and that this made sense ...

@ Fanny - I think blogger does funny things sometimes - I too can't always post and need to come back ... frustrating, but c'est la vie ...

Groynes - great word isn't it - for a very useful invention ..

Japanese Knotweed - yes .. and I've no idea what is going to be done about it .. It's along the railways too ..

There are other major weeds too - that are causing serious problems - eg rhododendrons ..

Goose barnacles .. fun to write about though ..

Thanks for commenting - always lovely to get your thoughts .. cheers Hilary

Damaria Senne said...

Oh my. Don't know much geology so ended up checking a few words in the dictionary. Very educational for me, but it also sparked my imagination. Like The Great Glen Fault and you said it was mostly inactive and a thought popped into my mind - I wonder what would happen if it suddenly went active.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I almost chose geology to study in college, Hilary.

mail4rosey said...

So many interesting things to see. The groynes look similar to something you might see in Florida.

Juliet Batten said...

Ginormous geology! It is so full of stories ins't it. The limpets look quite jewel-like.

Robyn Campbell said...

You're quite the teacher, Hil. I so appreciate your dedication to showing the blogging world the beauty of the islands over there. I so hope to visit there someday soon. I wouldn't begin to figure how to measure the length. I just love these posts. I can smell the air through your words.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Damaria .. I really like that you looked up some of the words - excellent .. I hate not knowing too.
Heaven alone knows if the Great Glen Fault faultered ... I'd be thrown around violently and probably swamped in a tsunami .. so let's keep it inactive, please!!

@ Patricia .. I wish I had studied geography but I get to pick up bits and bobs here .. Geology too ..

@ Rosie - do they have groynes in Florida .. wouldn't be surprised for protecting the sand against the currents ..

@ Juliet - so much can be seen from the rocks - you are so right, so many stories .. limpets are strange creatures .. but amazing in how they've evolved ..

@ Robyn - delighted that you enjoy the posts and remember odd bits - that makes me very satisfied ...

Each year the A-Z posts have been fun times .. I learn loads! I hope you can get across ... but I won't measure the shoreline with you though ..

And thanks for allowing me to take you with me to the seaside ..

Thanks so much - so good to see you here .. Hilary

Viola Fury said...

Hillary,

Believe it or not, I had to take a macro-economics course in college as a pre-req for a class on the Soviet Union, and in Michigan, and particularly Lake Michigan, there is a series of groynes built on the south-eastern side of the lake to catch the silt and nutrients.

Your blog reminds me of a marvelous book, called the "Black Sea" by Neal Ascher who rhapsodizes about the tidal flows within the sea and the creatures that live in it and the many civilizations that lived around the Black See throughout the centuries, although his book has none of your marvelous pictures! Thanks! Mary

Michelle Wallace said...

Loads of fascinating geological info/facts here!
Amazing diversity!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mary - it's interesting what we unintentionally learn isn't it ..

I'll have to look up the Black Sea book ... to learn historically about that area .. sounds very interesting ...

@ Michelle - lots of info here I agree ... and we are a very diverse little country ...

Cheers to you both - Hilary