Ripple-marked sandstone

Ripple-marked sandstone

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A vertical bed of quartzite at Mitcham, Australia, part of the Adelaide Geosycline. Quartzite is a metamorphic rock derived from sedimentary sand- stone. The undulating structures visible on the rock are ripple marks, a relic of this sedimentary origin; they were shaped, before rock formation took place, by the movement of fluid over the unconsolidated sediments. The rocks here were formed in a shallow water environment around 750 million years ago and converted to quartzites and slates around 450-500 million years ago. Following a period of mountain building which occurred about 50 million years ago, the beds are presently around 300 metres above sea-level and vertical.

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Keywords: earth science, fossil, fossil river-bed, geological, geology, metamorphic, metamorphic rock, quartzite, ripple, ripple-marked, rippled, ripples, river-bed, rock, rocks, sandstone, sedimentary, sedimentary rock, stone

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