Monday, February 24, 2014

Fold Mountains

Somewhere in primary school all South African kids learn about the Cape Fold Mountains but one never really understands it until actually seeing it in person.  The Cape Fold Mountains are found along South Africa's south coast from Cape Town to the Port Elizabeth area.  The actual folds are seen in many places where you find valley and gorges through the mountains, usually while driving a pass somewhere.  About 450 million years ago  the rocks found in the Cape Fold Mountains were laid down as sediments in a coastal delta.  During the period 280-235 million years ago when the continents collided to form the super continent of Pangea, these layers of rock was forced upwards.  Over time the previous mountains eroded, leaving the very tough and weather resistant sandstones that make up the Cape Fold Mountains.  The part that always amaze visitors (and locals) are the fact that the layers of rock that one would expect to be horizontal is actually going upwards.  This particular picture was taken at the Kouga Dam in the Gamtoos Valley.

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