Green Rocks and Wildebeest

For such a massive chunk of time covered in thirty meters of sedimentary rocks, all of the rocks at the outcrop at Tweefontein are remarkably similar. With the exception of a few meters of sandstone the entire outcrop is composed of coarse and fine siltstones. There is hardly even any variation in the color. At the moment almost every bed is an olive gray with a few that are maroon. Although it may seem tedious to describe thirty meters of the same green rocks it is quite interesting to see dune and ripple structures, as well as several layers that contain animal burrows and fossils that are well over 200 million years old.

Besides measuring and describing rocks we have had the opportunity to help determine the paleo-magnetic orientation of these rocks by measuring the orientation of cores, which will later be taken to a lab to find the orientation of the magnetic grains in the samples. This new information will help correlate time in different rocks based on the movement of the poles during earth’s history.

And although the geology of the Karoo is fascinating, equally exciting has been seeing several different types of antelope, flamingoes, zebras, baboons, and wildebeest. Almost anywhere you go you can see some kind of indigenous African animal from the road or our field site.

Above: The burrow of a Permian animal.

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