Specimens of Cut Face Creek Sandstone (1-1.6Ga)
Specimens of Cut Face Creek Sandstone (1-1.6Ga)

Geologic Wonder of the Month—Cut Face Creek Sandstone

Pre-Cambrian Ripple Marks—Cook County Minnesota

Here we see two samples of the Meso-proterozoic (1-1.6 billion years old) Cut Face Creek Sandstone.  It is rare to have such an old example of a sedimentary rock preserved at the Earth's surface, and even more rare for the rock to contain preserved ripple marks. This rock marks a disconformity with overlying and underlying basalt flows, which erupted and cooled during a time when the North American continent was rifting apart, beginning the formation of the basin that eventually became the Great Lakes. The sandstone was deposited between major eruptive sequences along that rift.

Amy Moe-Hoffman at the Cut Face Creek outcrop

Sandstone ripple marks in situ