Sunday, 13 May 2007

Volcanoes and Coral Reefs in South Gloucestershire

Yesterday I spent my day looking at lava which flowed over the Tortworth area about 425 million years ago when this bit of the Earth's crust was about 30 degrees south of the equator.

Later we moved into a warm, shallow sea where I collected about 20 little horn corals, Pycnactis (as illustrated), only about 3 cm long.

Of course, I was on the Bath Geological Society's field trip, mentioned in my post of 6th May. It was an excellent trip, very well researched and organised. It was led by an expert on the geology of the area, a member of both the Bath Geological Society and of the Avon RIGS Group. The leader's car boot was full of beautiful specimens he had collected previously from the sites. He had specimens of all the creatures shown in the cartoon - the tabulate 'chain' coral, Halysites, trilobites, crinoids and brachiopods. The sea was teeming with life but there was virtually nothing on land; no trees, no flowers, no grass and certainly no animals. At least the rocks would have been well exposed.

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