The second of the series of sand ripple photographs taken on a single walk across the shore at Broughton Bay on the north coast of the Gower Peninsula in South Wales. These natural patterns vary a great deal according to location. This is due mostly to the way the tide ebbs and flows along the Loughor Estuary and out into Swansea Bay and the Bristol Channel. The flow of water responds to the topography, the shifting sand banks, rocky promontories, and underlying remnants of the fossil forest. Wind and currents affect the ripple designs too. The way they appear in the pictures is also affected by the angle from which they are viewed, how wet the sand is, the amount of cloud cover, the height of the sun in the sky, and the time of day. So as the weather changes and the day progresses the same patch of ripples might appear very different.

8 Replies to “Broughton Sand Ripples 2”

  1. Thanks for enumerating all the factors that create the various ripples. This is a nice collection. I enjoy seeing patterns like these in the sand along Florida’s Gulf Coast.

  2. When you start looking at the sand ripple patterns in detail, as I did while walking and photographing along this shore at Broughton Bay, you see that the patterns morph from one kind into another, as a response to subtle changes in the physical environment interacting with the waves. This phenomenon is of great interest to scientists in various fields of research, and some of my sand ripple images (from other locations) have been used to illustrate points in publications, and are currently being used in on-going studies as a basis for interpreting dust patterns on the surface of Mars!

  3. Wow. That is truly something to think about. And I love the idea of not only we want to know how things work here but we go on to other worlds, too. You must be very proud to be able to add to this knowledge. I am impressed. And I continue to be fascinated by your work.

  4. Thank you, Claudia. I feel privileged to contribute, in however small a way, to our understanding of the world(s) around us, while having such a good time myself getting out and about with my camera.

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