Sandstone Weathering over the Milenia

(Click on image to enlarge)

Sandstone Weathered over time...a very long time!

I took this image at Del Mar Point several days ago.  I love this area of Sea Ranch because the sandstone formations are incredible.   This image captures the full spectrum of geologic oddities peculiar to this area of the coast, and in particular, Sea Ranch.  As I said earlier, this area is comprised of mostly sandstone, which we often think of as soft and easily erodible.  Well, most of the sandstone formations here were created millions of years ago under tremendous pressure from being covered by 30,000 feet of sediment.  The sheer pressure of this overlying sediment caused this sandstone to cement together through various geological and geochemical processes.

Ultimately, these once deep sedimentary layers were uplifted and exposed to the surface.  Once exposed to the elements of wind and surf and rain, this cement-hardened sandstone layer began to erode leaving behind the hardest components within the sandstone layer.  Hence the honey-combed and pitted surfaces, eroded by wave wash and wind over time.   The Ball-like structures protruding from the walls of these sandstone layers are the most strongly cemented portions within the layer.  The end result of all these physical and chemical processes is the weird and somewhat bazaar formations we see today.

I hope you enjoyed my little journey through time…eons of time.


Equipment: Nikon D810: Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 lens; Oben tripod.

Further Reading:  If you’d like to read more about this, I suggest you consult Ted Konigsmark’s book “Geological Trips: Sea Ranch” (1994)

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4 Responses to Sandstone Weathering over the Milenia

  1. Chris says:

    Are you sure you were still on planet earth? Very spooky!

  2. Nancy says:

    Hi Phil! We know this place well and I think it’s the perfect subject for black and white photos. Amazing what the elements can create and with the ocean as a backdrop. Pretty cool!

    • Thanks Nancy. I often go down here (it’s off of Helm) just to hang out with my camera and see what inspires me. Something usually does. I’ve been to Bowling Ball Beach and it is indeed a geological wonderland, but I also think this area of Sea Ranch is incredible as well. Very prehistoric!’’

      Best to you and Jim…


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