Geological interest

Wickwar Quarry is famous amongst geologists for a band of bright green rock which is thought to originate from the day a meteorite crashed into the earth 214 million years ago.


The day a meteorite showered Wickwar

Wickwar holds a special fascination for geologists following the discovery in 1973 of what are known as glauconite spherules at Churchwood Quarry.

The bright green spherules exist in a layer up to 150mm thick and are thought to be the result of a massive asteroid, about three miles in diameter, hitting the earth at a speed of 36,000 mph some 214 million years ago.

As the asteroid hit the surface it completely vapourised, creating one of the largest natural explosions to affect the planet in the last 600 million years. The shock wave is said to have been 40 million times larger than the Hiroshima blast, carrying molten rock and dust thousands of miles.

The 100km crater caused by the asteroid is at Quebec in Canada. Wickwar’s deposit is one of the laterals from that event.  At that time, the Bristol area would have been about 2000 km from the crater, as the North Atlantic Ocean had not yet opened up and Canada and the UK were part of one land mass.

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