Clastic Detritus

1960s Video Explaining Longshore Sediment Transport in Southern California


After seeing my post the other day of a turbidity current caught on video, a good friend of mine sent me the link to this wonderful little film called Beach: A River of Sand, which was produced in 1965.

It’s 20 minutes long and well worth watching when you have a bit of idle time in your day. It focuses on the origin, transport, and fate of beach sand in southern California (from Santa Barbara to San Diego). It combines information from observations and scaled-down models to tell the story of how sand makes it way southward along the coast and, ultimately, into submarine canyons. There’s even footage of sand cascading down into the head of La Jolla submarine canyon!

Although this video is almost 50 years old I think it’s just as good, if not better, than documentary material produced today. Sure, we might have fancier graphics/animations today, but they tell the story in such a simple and clear way. I love it.