Hartland Deep Time

Here’s a far better way to find out about the earth: clambering around the windswept rocky coastline of Hartland Quay with a bunch of congenial friends and a brilliant teacher.    



















We were taking part in one of the Devon Wildlife Trust walks, led by geologist, Paul Madgett.  At last I have a bit of an idea of how those alternating layers of sandstone and shale were laid down, and how they became folded into the dramatic formations we see today. 

Paul kept us rivetted, as he described processes of erosion and deposition that have been going on for hundreds of millions of years. I was astonished  to hear of ancient earthquakes sending great pulses of earth material flowing outwards – and as it slowed down, the sand would have sunk to the bottom first, eventually becoming the sandstone layer, whilst the mud would have stayed in solution longer, swirling around and eventually settling into the shale layers. Then everything awaited the next earth shock, which could be hundreds of years later – and the whole process would begin again.

The up-ended, folded rock formations were caused by… erm… something to do with Plate Tectonics.

I would love to tell you more, but here are some nice pictures instead.     
























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previous posts about Hartland in No Snowdrops, and Hartland.

About throughstones

I am primarily a visual artist, living on the North Devon coast, a beautiful semi-rural area in South West England. I am interested in full engagement with 'place' and the eternal movement of life - particularly as it relates to what we call 'the natural environment'.
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4 Responses to Hartland Deep Time

  1. paula says:

    Ahhh – one of my most favourite places! I always have trouble in finding the words that describe the sheer power of the place – I love it and will often find myself heading over that way when I need a battery recharge or space to think. Extraordinary.


  2. flandrumhill says:

    That’s quite the waterfall. But that scraped shore is something else. You can’t look at it without wondering about the force that created it.


    • It is incredible, isn’t it! Now that I have learnt a little more of the processes over millions of years, from Paul the geologist, I am even more awe-struck. I love being a part of the earth.


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