Natural pattern picture: Natural black pattern of charcoal on the driftline at Studland Beach owned by the National Trust in Dorset, UK on the Jurassic Coast (P1070048aBlog1) 

Surely all the summer barbeques ever could not be responsible for the quantity of charcoal that washes up in the driftline at one particular spot an Studland Beach. I have not been able to find out the origin of this material which has persisted for several years at least. It might have come from a boat’s cargo as there is a lot of shipping sailing in and out of Poole Harbour. Or maybe it represents debris from a fire on the heathland in The Isle of Purbeck that borders the southern shores of Poole Harbour. 

Pattern in nature: Natural black branching pattern of charcoal on the driftline at Studland Beach owned by the National Trust in Dorset, UK on the Jurassic Coast (P1070055aBlog2) 

This picture shows in detail the driftline pattern composed of small pieces of what looks like charcoal. The action of the waves not only deposits these black fragments on the shore as each tide recedes but also creates dendritic patterns with them.

Pattern in nature: Driftline pattern of black charcoal on the sandy beach at Studland Bay owned by the National Trust in Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast (P1070058aBlog3) 

The charcoal patterns repeat at intervals along about a 100 metre stretch of the seashore – the black of the charcoal contrasting with the lighter yellowy colours of the sand.

Seashells picture: Seashells and charcoal on the driftline of Studland beach, Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast (P1070067aBlog4) 

In some places, slipper limpet and other empty shells have accumulated with the charcoal adding a bit of colour to the driftline.

Seashore picture: Driftline pattern on the sand at Studland Beach, Dorset, UK on the Jurassic Coast (P1070068aBlog5) 

Revision of a post first published 1 June 2009

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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3 Replies to “Driftline patterns at Studland”

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