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Friday Field Foto #98: Miniature sedimentary systems in the beach

December 11, 2009

This week’s Friday Field Foto is from along the west coast of the U.S. just south of the town of Eureka, California.

I especially like the margin of this sedimentary system, which includes intricate and beautiful mini-canyons eroding and contributing sediment. The photo below zooms in on these features.

I know I’ve seen others show their photographs of features like this (e.g., Through the Sandglass blog) so feel free to include links in the comments below.

Happy Friday!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Erik permalink
    December 11, 2009 8:38 am

    One time I was at the beach on a very windy day when there was hardly anyone else around and wherever the sand was dry and flat there were huge fields of miniature barchan dunes, each dune about 4-6 inches long.

  2. December 11, 2009 5:51 pm

    Nice! I think these ‘systems’ illustrate well how erosion and deposition can occur at the same time and same place, I mean not far from each other. Similar features on the same beach (potentially photographed on the same trip) here.

  3. December 11, 2009 10:33 pm

    Zoltan … very cool, I think you’re right — your photo might be from exact same place as this

  4. December 12, 2009 4:44 am

    Yes, these miniature beach landscapes and processes really are compelling – I was just photographing some more on a beach in Cumbria (NW England) a few days ago – just can’t stop myself! I reckon part of the fascination is nature’s scale invariance of pattern formation and processes, part of it is simply watching dynamic processes at work, and that leads to the third – the ephemerality of nature’s art. Each of these images is of a structure, a design, that is unique and will never be repeated.

    See also (since you invited links, Brian), Larry Deemer’s beautiful images at—natures-sand-designs.html and some of mine from the French coast at

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