Rose Hill quarry has become our new place of work recently – our three most recent clearance days have been at the site. The reason for this is the prospect of uncovering a thrust fault that was described by Professor Boulton in 1928. The picture below is taken from his paper ‘The Geology of the Northern part of the Lickey Hills, near Birmingham’.
In this paper, Boulton describes lots of features from around the Lickey Hills and the Rubery Cutting. We are interested in finding this thrust plane at Rose Hill so that we can continue to piece together the puzzle of the Lickey Quartzite and how it came to be so folded and distorted.
During the clearance work, we uncovered a number of clay bands, with the now-familiar green colouring. These clay bands occur regularly throughout the quartzite in Rose Hill Quarry, in Barnt Green Road Quarry and in Kendal End Quarry. In Rose Hill some clay layers were seen to widen and narrow, and then disappear completely! The significance of these clay bands is unclear – are they volcanic deposits? If they are, where is (was!) the volcano?
The scale of this work is massive as there has been a lot of vegetation that needed removing (thanks, DofE!), and the next task is to remove tonnes of scree and debris. This is hard to clear as the plant roots help to bind it all together, so it has to be dug out and raked away down the slope. We hope to continue working west and removing the scree from the top of the pile, and work downwards. The end result will be providing a platform for visitors to get up close to the rocks to examine them, and also hopefully to expose the thrust fault!