The Odd Rock Formations of Cape Elizabeth

September 26, 2021  •  7 Comments

Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Geology of Cape Elizabeth
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

While we were in the Two Lights area of Cape Elizabeth we came across these odd rock formations along the ocean front. Some had quartz-like veins running thru them and many were broken up as if in a fault line. At first they resembled petrified logs eons old. But, as noted in this report I found:

The rock that makes up the ledges is classified as metamorphic rock, which means that at one time it was affected by heat and pressure inside the earth which has significantly changed its form. Before metamorphism it was sedimentary rock, which had formed originally by hardening of deep-sea sediment (sand and mud) into rock.  - Henry N. Berry IV and Robert G. Marvinney (https://digitalmaine.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1353&context=mgs_publications)

Cape Elizabeth, Maine Coastal Shale AbstractCoastal Shale AbstractCape Elizabeth, Maine
Close-ups with a little help with contrast and saturation 
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Quartzite Veins
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Many of the white quartz veins here were produced during metamorphism as hot fluids containing dissolved silica circulated through small open spaces in the rock, leaving small quartz deposits.  - Henry N. Berry IV and Robert G. Marvinney


Cape Elizabeth, Maine Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Quartzite Vein revealed after a section eroded or broke away
Cape Elizabeth, Maine

The geology here is fascinating even if, like me, you have no experience in the subject. Photographically it could provide enough subject matter for a week.

The report can be found here:  The Geology of Two Lights State Park

 

 


Comments

Tom Dills(non-registered)
My initial impression of those rocks was that they look like petrified wood. The grain and texture looks much like what we saw in the Petrified Forest. Fascinating!
Todd Henson(non-registered)
I remember walking along those same rocks during a vacation and being similarly fascinated by them. So unusual, at least compared to anything I'd seen before. I love the character of some of the "beaches" of Maine.
Monte Stevens(non-registered)
Thank you for the geology class and thank you for the images. I love the images even if contrast and saturation levels were brought up. Nature is so amazing and truly is an open book for us to study.
JC(non-registered)
Wow! That first photo is classic - like a 57 Chevy or a 56 T Bird. Really nice work! Fascinating topic.
Peter Tellone(non-registered)
That first shot is Killer (The rest are just manslaughter)
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