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T Wall geology question
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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Feb 13, 2014

We were noticing that a few feet off the ground there is a very distinct layer containing a huge amount of iron, and that scattered in and around that layer were inclusions that appeared to be basically pure iron (some of them seemed to contain more and stronger iron than some of the pins we clip up here in the Gunks!).

What I'm wondering is, what causes these concentrations of iron? Why does it occur in layers and inclusions rather than diffused evenly through the rock?


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By Brandon.Phillips
From Double Springs, AL
Feb 13, 2014
El Classico V0

The iron is basically water-soluble. It begins disffused throughout the rock but as water seeps through porous sandstone it will take the iron and concentrate it adjacent to a non-permeable layer (usually sandstone containing some other minerals which are not as readily water soluble). That is how we end up with these concentrated iron bands in the southeast.

After the iron has concentrated, the rock around it will erode away faster leaving iron edges and other protrusions.

I was at a lecture about Cumberland Plateau geology last week and someone asked the same question. This is how the Geologist explained it (though a little more elegantly).


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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Feb 13, 2014

Brandon.Phillips wrote:
The iron is basically water-soluble. It begins disffused throughout the rock but as water seeps through porous sandstone it will take the iron and concentrate it adjacent to a non-permeable layer (usually sandstone containing some other minerals which are not as readily water soluble). That is how we end up with these concentrated iron bands in the southeast. After the iron has concentrated, the rock around it will erode away faster leaving iron edges and other protrusions. I was at a lecture about Cumberland Plateau geology last week and someone asked the same question. This is how the Geologist explained it (though a little more elegantly).


Thanks Brandon, that makes a lot more sense than what we were coming up with... :)


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By Chris Watford
Feb 16, 2014

I thought they were old cannon ball fragments! Seriously, that was a cool explanation Brandon. I alays wondered as well. Took a Gunkie to ask the question. :)


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