Sand picture: Sand-covered pebbles at Rhossili Bay, Gower, South Wales, UK (P1430216aBlog1)

The dynamics of sediment movement on beaches intrigues me. Every time you visit a favourite beach it looks different. The tides, currents, wind and weather all play a part in the transformations. The structure of the seashore is sometimes hidden and sometimes revealed. Last autumn the pebbles at the foot of the soft red cliffs beneath Rhossili Down on Rhossili Bay in Gower, South Wales, were in the process of being covered up by sand.

The texture and distribution of the sand showed that it had first been a wind-blown accumulation; then had been consolidated by rain; and at that particular moment it was drying out and beginning to crack over the curved surfaces. The images illustrate the contrast in textures and colours between the sand and the pebbles. The surface of the sediment layer mimicks the pebble shapes below. The overall effect is one of softening of the appearance of the pebbles as if they had been covered by a light blanket of drifting snow.

Gower beach picture: Pebbles coated by drifting sand at Rhossili Bay, Gower, South Wales, UK (P1430219aBlog2)

Sand texture photograph: Wind-blown sand covering a pebble bed on Rhossili beach, Gower, South Wales, UK (P1430221aBlog3)

Pebbles and sand picture: Pebbles partially covered by wind-blown sand at Rhossili Bay, Gower, South wales, UK (P1430155aBlog4)

Picture of pebbles and sand: Pebbles from Rhossili Bay, Gower, South Wales, UK, covered with wind-blown sand (P1430159aBlog5)

Rhossili Beach picture: View looking north along Rhossili Beach showing sand-covered pebbles at the base of the soft red cliffs of Rhossili Down (P1430158aBlog6) 


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