Another Ledge at Peachtree Rock

Beach-white Sand at Peachtree

 About South Carolina's Sandhills

     The Sandhills are hilly, unconnected bands of sand left from the ocean dunes during the Miocene Epoch. (See more about the ancient ocean on the Coastal Plain page!) 
     Above these sand deposits lies the Fall line, where the rocky river beds meet the sediment covered river bottoms of the Coastal Plain. Many cities besides Columbia were built along the fall line as it runs up the east coast (Atlanta, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia). This was as far as most boats could sail safely upriver. At the Fall Line they would unload their goods from the boat and transport them by land. The rapids at the Fall Line also provided many industries with needed hydropower.

           About South Carolina Fossils
     A large portion of the rocks and sediment in South Carolina contain fossils. The majority of these fossils are of marine life from the Miocene Epoch.  The Miocene Epoch, which was between 22.7 and 5.3 million years ago, was a period in history where South Carolina’s climate became colder. The change in climate caused glaciers to form in some parts of North America. The dramatic change also caused forest area to shrink and grasslands to spread. These changes and competition between species cause the extinction of about twenty-five percent of all mammal species. Many animals came out of this era, these animals include: whales, dolphins, seals, early mastodons, dugongs, and grazing mammals.
     During this time an ancient shoreline came up to what is now known as South Carolina’s Sandhills, one of the states five geological regions. This accounts for the many fossils found in many different areas of the state. The most common type of fossils that are usually found are molds and casts. This is because these types of fossils are easily preserved. Other types of fossils that can be found in South Carolina are petrified remains and carbon films. Another type of fossil that can be found in South Carolina are trace fossils, with one of the best examples of this type of fossil being found at Peachtree Rock Preserve. In the sandstone ledges that are all around the Preserve, burrows that were once home to marine shrimp (Calianassa) can be seen. These burrows show that at one time the Sandhills used to be a marine environment and had a tropical climate, because these shrimp are known the only live in tropical areas.

A Closer View of the Shimp Burrows

Close-up of Another Ledge of Shimp Burrows

The Small Stream from the Waterfall

Links to Other Sites on the Sandhills of S.C.

Sesquicentennial State Park

SCMaps on Columbia

Dreher Island State Park

Aiken State Natural Area

SCMaps on Graniteville

SCMaps on Sugarloaf Mountain

The Team Journal

Come along with our web team on our visit to Peachtree Rock Preserve.

A Side View of Peachtree Rock
© S. Debebe-Kumssa, J. Grindrod, V. Lyles, N. Osmanski, and M. Poarch

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