Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member broadoak2006
N 54° 43.206 W 001° 56.949
30U E 567687 N 6064151
Frosterley Marble is a unique and fascinating stone found in a thin layer through much of Weardale in Durham
Waymark Code: WMHQ3Q
Location: North East England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 08/03/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 7

Despite its name, it is not a true marble (which is limestone transformed by metamorphism) but is an unusually dark unmetamorphosed limestone that is hard and can be successfully polished. What makes it special though is that it contains densely packed fossils, whose pale colour vividly contrasts with the dark rock giving a very characteristic appearance. These features have made Frosterley Marble a sought-after material for decorative stonework and it has been quarried in and around Frosterley for this purpose for at least 900 years.

Frosterley marble forms a relatively thin layer - up to 1 m - within a much more substantial non-fossiliferous limestone layer dating from the Carboniferous period (345 - 290 million years ago). This layer formed when this area was a shallow tropical sea-bed - a lot changes in ~ 300 million years! Many years of slow accumulation of organic and mineral detritus ("sedimentation") formed muds that eventually turned into rock in a process called lithification. The marble layer represents a period where the accumuating detritus was particularly dark, and when a large number of relatively intact solitary corals (Dibunophyllum bipartitum) were incorporated into the forming mud. The tough calcite skeletons of the corals were preserved in the rock to give the incredibly detailed, light-coloured fossils.
Waymark is confirmed to be publicly accessible: yes

Parking Coordinates: N 54° 43.408 W 001° 56.552

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