Geo-pic of the week: Ripple marks


Ripple marks are sedimentary features formed by water flowing over sediment.  They form in different environments including river channels, beaches, and just about anywhere water flows.  You probably saw some the last time you walked along a creek.

As water flows over sediment, it sweeps some of the loose sediment along in the direction of the current.  As the sediment migrates, it forms miniature dune-like structures.  These features are short on one side and tall on the other. The tall sides point in the direction the water was flowing.  In this case, it flowed into the picture, or away from us.

Ripples like these often get destroyed before they ever harden into a rock, but occasionally they get preserved.  Ancient ripples serve as clues to the environmental conditions that existed in a place in the distant past.  These ripples formed in what was once a deep ocean trough near Hot Springs, Arkansas .

1 thought on “Geo-pic of the week: Ripple marks

  1. Gerald Bryant

    Please provide location information for this site. We are investigating similar ripples in the Shinarump Conglomerate, near St George, Utah. Specifically, we wish to interpret the corrugations that appear on these ripples:


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