|At least 3 lava flows are evident from the different 'steps'|
The steps are caused by the erosion of different lava flows. The flows are up to 20 metres of so thick which according to Duggan and Mason (1978) is a bit uncharacteristic for the Lismore Basalt (thin 2-3 thick flows). Looking back along the ridge it is pretty evident that the flows are of consistent thickness through the whole area. They are probably from the Lismore Basalt that are related to the formation of the Tweed Volcano which was centered around present day Mount Warning. I wonder if there were closer vents that could be the source of the lavas but there is little evidence of any in the immediate vicinity. Indeed authors such as Cotter (1998) feel that the pre-existing topography was such that the area through Blakebrook Quarry (another site north of the quarry I was visiting) through to places like Parrots Nest may have been a valley. The swift flowing basaltic lavas flowed down these valleys filling them and creating thick sequences of rock.
|The red layer overlain by another basalt lava flow|
indicates the presence of a fossil soil horizon
Anyway, a good trip even if it was just for the palaeosol or the stepped topography alone. But I'd like to do another blog on some of the macro scale igneous textures that are present in the lava including dykes, vesicles, voids and veins and I've still not got to the top abandoned quarry but when time allows I'll get there. I took some samples at the operating quarry to examine under the microscope to see if there were any microscopic textures that are of interest too, but once again, time does not seem to be on my side... though I will get to these tasks sometime!
*Cotter, S. 1998. A Geochemical, Palaeomagnetic and Geomorphological Investigation of the Tertiary Volcanic Sequence of North Eastern New South Wales. Masters Thesis, Southern Cross University.
*Duggan, P.B., Mason, D.R. 1978. Stratigraphy of the Lamington Volcanics in Far Northeastern New South Wales. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences V25.