Wales' journey through time
At different times in the past geological
forces squeezed, sheared, split and even melted rocks. Travel
through Wales and you’ll see the evidence. Every rock has a story
Incredibly, over hundreds of millions of years, Wales has
wandered across the globe, nearly from pole to pole.
As Welsh rocks piled up during that journey, they met with natural
forces. Events from this epic story are often recorded within
rocks. Look closely and you’ll find clues to:
- Land masses colliding.
Collisions, often crumpling and folding rocks, stretching and
twisting any fossilised life within.
- Molten lava erupting from the ocean floor.
Hot ash falling back into the sea and entombing marine creatures.
Today you’ll find fossil shells at the very peak of Snowdon.
- The power of water and ice.
During the Ice Ages huge glaciers filled our valleys. As they moved
they tore and ground the rocks beneath. Melting ice sheets dumped
powdered rock and large boulders often large distances away from
where they were formed. It’s this flow of water and ice that
largely shaped the landscape we recognise today.
- Wave power
As waves crash and gnaw at the coast and as sea levels change, they
either make or destroy land. Many of Wales’ coastal areas were once
dry land. Look out for fossilised trees on beaches – they mark the
day the sea rose up and drowned them.
But it’s humans that are leaving their mark on Welsh rocks
today. By mining for coal or slate or making way for new roads,
we’re changing the landscape like the glaciers once did.