Patterns in the sand after the storm

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Many different kinds of ripples and coloured patterns were left in the sand on Rhossili beach the morning after the worst of the gale last week-end. These photographs are the first of a series showing how these different designs looked in the context of the vast expanse of virtually empty seashore, and in more detailed close up views.

The sediments were waterlogged even though the tide was way out. The feeble sunlight reflected in the surface film. The distant horizon a blur of mistiness created by the churning sea and flying foam. The coloured pigments are  a natural feature of this beach. Fine red sediments derived from Old Red Devonian sandstone of Rhossili Down wash down from the soft solifluction terrace cliffs to mix with black anoxic deposits stirred up from deeper beach levels, and the yellow sand that arrived with the ice sheets of long ago.


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