Thursday, December 1, 2016
Wandering Through a Sand Wilderness
My perceptions of ocean coasts were changed somewhat when I moved to Central California. The beaches we explore these days, Big Sur and the Marin Headlands, are more cliffs than sand. They are beautiful beyond measure, but they are not like Oregon. Few places are like Oregon.
US Forest Service data).
As I've pointed out in previous posts, the sand has several origins. The quartz rich sands were eroded from distant sources in the Klamath Mountains and Idaho Batholith and carried to the shoreline environment by one of Oregon's many rivers. Other sand is locally derived, eroded directly from the sea cliffs, or carried onshore from offshore bars. Some of the sediment that may have originated during the ice ages when sea level was lower. Wave action produced the flat platforms on which the dunes accumulated.
To this Californian, it is a true shock to look at an eight mile long stretch of beach and not see a single person. It was heavenly!