Beach Stone Textures NEB 5-9 Stones and boulders from ice age processes on the estuarine banks of the River Naver near Bettyhill on the north coast of Scotland. I believe many of these stones come from a lateral moraine deposit.

11 Replies to “Beach Stone Textures NEB 5-9”

  1. Since my childhood days, when our family used to spend their holidays at the seaside, I’ve been fascinated by the infinite number of different shapes, shades and textures that beach boulders, stones and pebbles show.

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  2. Thank you, Linda. Did you notice in the first three pictures how the stones seem to be arranged into a circular central area? I wondered if this was a natural phenomenon or whether they had been placed like that a long time ago.

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  3. Thank you, Markus. I think I have become more interested in rocks and stones as I grow older. I love the way they look but am also curious about what they represent and how they have achieved their present appearance and location. These ones have a particularly interesting history.

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  4. Hi, Linda. What a lovely book about the natural history of the Vermillion River. I loved your contributed chapter. I looked at all the pictures but did not see anything that made me think it could be caused by freeze-thawing – although there are likely to be some associated features in the area because of all the glaciations and the to and fro movements of the ice sheet. The patterned ground that I mentioned is like small hummocky areas of broken rocks that originally form at the surface but can be buried later. There are lots of images of patterned ground caused by cryoturbation on-line. The shales in your river bed show a typical fracture pattern not associated with glaciation. Evidence for patterned ground may be visible in cross-sections through glacial material above the shale strata or buried beneath current surface sediments.


  5. Well, on Jessica’s Nature Blog there are 39 posts featuring images or information about natural fractures in rocks at
    There is also a great deal of research being undertaken in academia about natural rock fracturing processes because the importance of understanding such things as safety for burial of nuclear waste, and the mechanisms involved in fracking for oil and gas in shale strata. I don’t pretend to understand the mathematics of it all but there is a review paper published in 2014 “Natural fractures in shale:
    A review and new observations by
    Julia F. W. Gale, Stephen E. Laubach, Jon E. Olson,
    Peter Eichhubl, and András Fall” ; and details about this area of shale-mudrock fracture research being undertaken at The images of the exposed plane surface shale strata in Vermilion River resemble the types of natural fracture patterns in emerging strata that I have photographed in the past that are subject to normal present-day weathering processes.

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