Beach Rock on the Little Island

Friday - 16/10/2020 13:23
Beach rock can be found on the south and west of the Little Island. This strip of sediment—created by biological debris such as shell, coral, and basalt pebble—is 2-4 meters thick and a few kilometers long. Geologists believe that it formed about 2-3 thousand years ago in the Late Holocene. The sediments are strongly bound; however, they are being destroyed because of the impact of modern tectonic activities and constant wave action.

Similar to its counterpart on the Big Island, the beach rock on the Little Island is created by sand, grit, pebbles, gravel, fresh water and especially lime originating from shells and corals. However, calcium minerals from shells and corals can be dissolved in rainwater and in the sea. Hence, beach rock can only be formed in a stable location enabling the accumulation of lime for a certain period. This is the area where seawater meets groundwater. For that reason, beach rock is often found in places where the groundwater is near the surface, yet covered under a loose layer of sand on the beach.
 
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