sandstone - yellow brown medium-grained Miocene sandstone from the Ridge Basin of California - teaching hand specimen
This sandstone is Miocene in age, is moderately lithified, and is a member of the Ridge Route Formation The Ridge Basin is characterized by a variety of depositional environments. A closed or semi-closed basin during the Miocene and Pliocene, it exhibits shallow fresh-water lacustrine deposits such as lagoonal and shoreline deposits and bar complexes, as well as deep fresh-water turbidites and various types of sediment gravity flows. This sandstone was deposited in a delta or deltaic plain.
When sand grains from these specimens are rubbed off onto a sheet of paper, the grains will look like sand to a student. It would be instructive to compare this sandstone with one is larger or smaller grained, with one that is cemented with calcium carbonate, and with different colored sandstones, as sandstone has great variety and a student should not see only one example.
The field photo shows interbedded sandstone, shale and siltstone in an outcrop of the Ridge Route formation. Notice the sandstone is resistant to weathering and forms a prominent ledge. In arid areas, sandstones are cliff-formers. Below the yellow brown sandstone the shale forms a slope, with gray siltstone forming a number of small ledges below.
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