White chalk pebbles from the Jurassic Coast in a blue bowl – looking a bit like mint imperial sweets. They are smooth, rounded, slightly flattened, frequently ovoid, porous, and have a matt surface.
Chalk is one of several rocks from which white pebbles are made. Chalk is a Cretaceous rock and outcrops in many places along the seashores of the Jurassic Coast. The photographs show some arrangements of these chalk pebbles; and also illustrate how they look on the beach when naturally occurring. In the shore pictures, they are mixed with mostly grey flint and yellow chert pebbles against which the white pebbles contrast and stand out. The pebbles are shown at various magnifications and in both the wet and dry condition.
Pebbles of white chalk with grey flint and yellow chert on a Jurassic Coast seashore.
Revision of a post first published 17 July 2009
COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011
All Rights Reserved
11 Replies to “White pebbles made of chalk”
I have a collection of white pebbles that my grandson loves to use with his dumptruck and front loader.
I marvel at the smoothness of your white chalk pebbles. (You don’t realize how difficult it is to find a perfectly smooth stone until you start looking for samples on the beach). Yours are so individually lovely, yet together, the effect of the whole is still greater than the sum of the parts.
As you will have seen from the various things I have written and photographed, we have a wide range of geological strata in this area, mostly sedimentary rocks like chalk, limestones, sandstones, clays and siltstones. Although it is called the Jurassic Coast, there are also layers from the Cretaceous and Triassic periods. Some of the rocks are very colourful. Others are full of fossils. What are the rocks like where you live?
In Cow Bay we have lots of what I’m guessing is metamorphosed sedimentary rock that juts out along the shoreline. They’re not very colorful. Gold was mined here until the 1950s. I’ve managed to find the odd piece of sandstone in the woods. Other areas in Nova Scotia are known for their fossils.
Thank you for that information, Amy-Lynn. I am always curious about the geology of other places because it affects how their coastline was formed, their appearance, and everything else about the shoreline ecosystem. The rocks always hold such fascinating secrets.
All those smooth, rounded white pebbles are so beautiful. I love to collect interesting rocks from my area of New Hampshire, but they are not beach rocks and not smooth. And in Florida, there were no rocks to collect!
We are lucky here on the Jurassic Coast in the UK to have both beautiful pebbles and interesting rocks with a wide range of petrology, colour, shape and pattern.
Hi Jessica, Just found your blog, I study figurative lithics, yet to be accepted by mainstream science. Wondering if you have any flint tool finds, the figurative variety?
Even if you don’t suspect them to show animal art , it would be nice to see them on this blog. Regards Brett.
Hi Brett. I have not yet had the good fortune to come across any flint tools. There are lots of flints of various sizes on local beaches and in the fields around the village where I live but so far I have never noticed any figurative markings in them. I think you need to be very observant and have a good imagination to detect the animal shapes as you have done.
Hello, I just found your blog and it is just what i was looking for. I’ve been on a fairly frustrating quest to identify my favourite stones for drawing on and your blog has really helped!
I dont suppose you could tell me exactly which beach these white pebbles came from? I find that the stones seem to vary quite wildly from one beach to the next along the jurassic coast and I am specifically looking for smooth white pebbles like these ones in your photographs.
Hello, Donna. Your art project sounds interesting. I am sorry that I cannot recall which particular beach the pebbles came from – it was quite a few years ago. At the time, I described the arranged smooth white stones in two of the pictures as looking like mint imperial sweets and that was because they were all small, a centimetre or so across, so perhaps not a big enough surface for drawing on.