Museum Expeditions & Field Trips - 2007

The Rock of Gibraltar

This massive rock of early Jurassic limestone was tilted and raised during the alpine orogeny during the Miocene (~20 million years ago) when the continent of Africa collided with Europe. Predominently comprised of white and grey limestone - with some red stained through contact with iron-rich sands - the overall impression is a striking similarity to the White Cliffs of Dover

In additon to limestone, Gibratar geology also includes shales and sandstones from the Jurassic along with breccias and aolian (wind-blown) sand deposits from the Pleistocene.

White/Grey Limestone  Dolomite  Calcite  Red Stained Limestone

Apart from stomatolitic algae formations, fossils are relatively rare on Gibraltar, although they have been found along the crest of the main ridge. These have included bivalve and gastropod molluscs, rhynchonellid and terebratulid brachiopods, occasional corals and fragments of both echinoids and crinoids.

The red-stained limestone beds of the lower slopes is a source for gastropod shells from the late Pleistocene/early Holocene.

Gastropod Shells

With much of the penisular being made up of limestones and dolomites, cave formations are common and extensive. The main cave system open to the public is St Michael's Cave on the northern side of The Rock.

St Michael's Cave   St Michael's Cave St Michael's Cave  St Michael's Cave  St Michael's Cave  St Michael's Cave  

This Neanderthal skull was discovered in Forbes' Quarry in 1848. Remains and evidence of neanderthal occupation have also been found in the Ibex, Gorham’s and Vanguard Caves on the east side of Gibraltar. Displays of these finds can be seen in The Gibraltar Museum in Bomb House Lane, just off of Main Street. Neanderthal Skull
CopyrightGovernment of Gibraltar

Notes for travellers

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