# 97 Berry Geology October 2019

#97 Berry Town Crier October 2019

Berry Geology:

The landscape surrounding Berry is highly regarded for its beauty. Little is known by the public at large of how it came to be as it is. The native flora gives it its character. The type of flora depends on the soil. The soil is the result of the geology.

There are four main types of strata around Berry.

- The oldest Berry Siltstone was laid down prior to 251 Million Years Ago in the Permian Age. It was part of the super continent Gondwana which was at the South Pole. This siltstone has formed a heavy yellowish soil that is being dug up on the highway works.

- In areas to the North of Berry, 264 Mya volcanism formed basaltic lavas and ash strata over the siltstone. These Gerringong Volcanics form most of the escarpment. They vary in density and form the stepped morphology of the slopes. The base of the cliffs marks the end of the Permian 251 Mya. The Permian Extinction was the world’s largest.

- The sandstone cliffs of the drawing room rocks are Triassic deposits. Gondwana at the South Pole had no mountain building. The flat terrain resulted in the deposits making up the sandstone strata.

The New Zealand plate rifted from Gondwana 90Mya and the edges of the rift valley rose up. The Australian side commenced to erode. The NZ side eventually sank.

- The eroded deposits are the Alluvial coastal flood plains. The last major change finished 8000 years ago at the end of the last ice age when the sea level rose up 125 metres to its present level. The coastal dunes and swamps to the East of Berry formed the new coast line.

These geological events have consequences. The rise of the escarpment turned the Kangaroo River inland. It was eventually captured by coastal Shoalhaven River to form the Shoalhaven Kangaroo system. Broughton Creek has stripped the escarpment Volcanics of their minerals. This results in acidic soils in the alluvial deposits.