Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pinnacle Park, Western Australia

Last year I had my first trip in the Land Down Under.  I was in Perth for most of the time, but my first escape to the bushland was to visit the Nambung National Park and to see the pinnacles.
© RomaniaRocks
The trip in itself was awesome: my friend and I took off from Perth, driving "on the wrong side of the road", checking religiously the gas level in the tank to make sure we are not stuck on the road, no gas, in the middle of nowhere.  The car windshield cracked midway there... you get the picture, it was a blast.  The trip was fantastic, the geology great.  The pictures show these pinnacles, which are believed to be syngenetic karstic geomorphological features formed by karstification and lithification of aeolian calcarenite.  The origin of these features is controversial, which explains why I was confused reading the info in the park, but here is a recent paper discussing the subject. The pillars are produced by
simultaneous karstifcation and lithifcation of aeolian calcarenite
Eolian calcarenites are sands consisting of fragments of carbonate-skeleton organisms such as foraminifera, mollusks, red algae, echinoderms.  These skeleton fragments were transported by wind and deposited as dunes or other eolian land forms.  Shortly after deposition, these sands were affected by karstification (dissolution) and lithification (the process of turning a sediment into a rock), resulting in the formation of the pillars.

© RomaniaRocks

© RomaniaRocks

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