Beach Rock

Friday - 16/10/2020 13:08
Ly Son Island has a special rock that is not common elsewhere. It’s found in one long section from Stone Bridge to the other side of Fire Volcano Cliff. It’s called “beach rock” because it’s only found along the beach. So its composition is like what we see on the beach: sand, grit, pebbles, gravel, coral shards, shells, even archaeological fragments. It often divides beach rocks into thin layers of a few dozen centimeters, slightly inclined towards the sea.

Rocks, especially sedimentary rocks (except volcanic rocks), are often at least several million years old. Imagine the time it takes for mud, grit, gravel, and pebbles to slowly, daily, deposit itself on the ocean, river, or lake bed. It takes a lot of time to deposit into a significant thickness. But the time the layers of mud, sand and other materials are pressed, dehydrated, and hardened into rock under the weight of the above layers takes even longer. In geology, the Quaternary Period is the most recent and began about 2.6 million years ago.  We refer to the sediments formed during this period as “quaternary unconsolidated sediments” since they have not yet hardened into rocks.

Beach rocks, and those specifically on Ly Son, formed only a few thousand years ago. The process for forming these rocks created a sedimentary rock more like concrete than ordinary sedimentary rocks. Fresh water and lime mixed with the sand, grit, pebbles and gravel to create the beach rocks. Shells and coral pieces added the lime. However, rainwater and seawater can wash away the minerals dissolved in calcium from the shells and corals. Therefore, to form a beach rock, it is necessary to have a relatively stable place for a long time to accumulate lime, which is at the place of interaction between seawater and groundwater. So, beach rocks usually only form where the groundwater is exposed, often under the loose sand of the beach.
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