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A Submerged Forest from the Ice Age EarthCache

Hidden : 07/25/2005
Difficulty:
1 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

Can not be reached if the tide is in! For times of high tides check http://www.pol.ac.uk/ntslf/tides/?port=0007 (Llandudno is near Rhyl so tide times are about the same) The site is a beach alongside a sea wall. The grey clay areas can be slippery if wet. Do NOT use the golf club entrance.

At the end of the last ice age, sea levels were much lower than today. This was because so much water (in the form of snow and ice) was sitting on the land.

Where had all that ice and snow come from? From the oceans. Water kept evaporating from the oceans, and falling as snow on the land. The snow compacted to form ice. And it didn’t melt. It just got thicker and thicker. In some places the ice was a mile thick. All the time, the water from the oceans kept evaporating, but it was not being replenished fast enough by melted snow running back in rivers into the sea. So the sea levels started to go down. Every blizzard and snowstorm over the land made the sea go down a bit more. More and more land that had once been under the sea became exposed during the last ice age.

Trees and other kinds of vegetation started to grow on this new dry land. Animals and people were living there too. But gradually the last Ice Age came to an end. Finally, the glaciers and ice on the land began to melt and flow back into the sea. And so, very slowly, the sea levels began to rise again, and low-lying parts of the land got covered with seawater. As the sea rose, the people and the animals could move away, but the plants and the forests could not move, and they became submerged. This happened about 6000 years ago.

Some of the submerged forests can still be seen in places round the coast of Britain and elsewhere in the world. But you have to use your imagination, and look carefully, because what remains today is some peaty layers and gray clay on the beach. Embedded in the peat, are some tree trunks, twigs and pieces of wood. Similar forest areas exist in on the Lancashire coast near the River Ribble, at Hartlepool, Hayling Island and Redcar in England, and Bray on the coast of Ireland. Radiocarbon tests have been done on some of the wood remains from these places. These date the wood at about 6000 years old. It is likely that the Rhyl woodland was growing about the same time. There are other places nearby on the beach where the submerged forest shows though the sand. These can become exposed after heavy seas move the sand around. Please do NOT try and remove any pieces of wood peat or any other parts of the submerged forest. This is a very ancient site, and similar sites in the UK have been marked as SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest).

To claim this site, please answer this question in your log.
"What is the colour of the material in which the roots are embedded?"

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