Stripes of quartz

I walk by the sea regularly, and have been thinking about the veins of quartz (which are actually thin sheets of the mineral) in many of the boulders that act as a breakwater at ‘my’ beach. I have been trying to find out how these sheets of quartz form – there are a couple of main ways it can happen apparently – most commonly the filling of cracks in rocks under conditions of high pressure and heat, underground, as part of tectonic or mountain building or other big-time geological processes. I haven’t really got to the bottom of it – the web pages I have read are full of strange terms – but these stripes of white rock running prettily through so many of the boulders at the end of the road are a reminder of the great lengths or time and the mysterious and powerful forces that are at work around us all the time, which for the most part we take no notice of. Rocks are quiet. They just sit there, not being explicit about their stories, unless you know how to read them I guess. So, in honour of aeons of time and the mysteries of the earth, here are a few photos (click on the photos to enlarge)…

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