Prehistoric Seafloor on Gibraltar Road

Just below Gibraltar Rock, about a half mile below Flores Flats, a nearly vertical bed of sandstone rises up beside Gibraltar Road. On the face of the sandstone slab, there are ripple marks created by a prehistoric sea that covered Santa Barbara about 39 to 42 million years ago.

The wavy designs formed as a result of ocean currents lapping through shallow coastal waters when the rock was a sandy seafloor. The ocean eventually receded, and about five million years ago, movement along the Santa Ynez Fault thrust the petrified seafloor skyward creating the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Related Posts:

Beachcombing For Fossilized Whale Bone

Fossil Hunting on Pine Mountain

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