> Before to answer to you on your point, hereunder
> is a post to Harry Wolf to expose the geological
> question raising about Malta ruts: About 90% of
> them run on the most recent limestone layer, the
> Coralline, whereas they are only a few on older
> and softer limestone layer, namely Globigerina.
> 20291,1124753#msg-1124753]Malta geology and cart
> ruts distribution correspondence[/url]
> And after, please see my answer to Jon to clarify
> my views and state of mind:
> 20291,1124920#msg-1124920]Answer to Jon
> To me, even if I am not opposed to the theory of
> very, very old imprints on soft clay that turn out
> solid afterwards, I don't think it can apply to
> the case of Malta, altough they must also be old,
> before catastrophes in the Mediterranean, may be
> contemporary of Atlantis, not impossible to me.
> Considering that more wet paleo climate may have
> helped the wear of tracks, I am thinking here to
> Robert Soch claims about the water erosion of
> Gizah Sphinx.
> Now, to answer your question: [quote="Tsurugi
> That said, your observations of quarry features
> around rut "hubs" is very interesting. Question:
> is there anything you noticed that definitely
> makes the quarry features and the ruts
> I cannot say definitely, not being a geologist,
> nor a quarry expert. But being an engineer
> familiar with technical and production questions,
> Clapham Junction looked to me a very old (stones
> wear, ground erosion) and well organised quarry.
> In the beginning it seems just to be a mess with
> random "cart ruts". And little by little you begin
> to understand the overall pattern, but it comes
> On the sides of the ruts areas are clear patches
> of rock extraction patterns, but they don't lie
> beside ruts and maybe are younger than ruts. Maybe
> Punic, Greek, Roman.
> But in the end I realized that in ruts areas we
> were walking on man-made artificially levelled
> parallel strips of rocky terrain, all flat (and
> inclined), all of same limited height and width.
> The idea of cutting benches became pregnant. And
> then I realized that they were all crossed by
> parallel cart ruts, and the crossing angle was
> constant. It seem to me that cutting benches were
> following geological sedimentary layers to
> optimize rock quality, whereas ruts direction was
> defined to optimize a constant tracks slope.
> No evidence of course.
One of the problems I have with the "Ruts cut by repeated traffic" idea is that where we see genuine cart ruts . Roman etc.. they are usually the result of the vehicles being constricted by a built road, side walls or a natural choke point. Not meandering all over the landscape. It would take the passing of probably hundreds of carts to even begin to define a cart track which could be subsequently followed by more carts. Of course this is entirely understandable in the case of a road or choke point as above.
Question is.. How do the meandering cart tracks on rock get started for others to follow? How did cart number two follow exactly cart number one? and so on until there was something well enough defined to follow.
One of the reasons why I currently think that the ruts are not the result high intensity, repeated traffic on hard stuff.
Rather low frequency traffic on soft stuff that is deliberately trying to avoid previous tracks.. For example driving a 4X4 over a deeply rutted, un-constricted area, you tend to try to stay out of the ruts due to your axle height and ground clearance issues. Resulting in sets of tracks meandering all over the place. The "Ski Resort" effect.