November 16, 2015
Monday Geology Picture: Fresh and Fading Footprints, Noordhoek Beach, South Africa
Posted by Evelyn Mervine
This past Saturday my husband and I went for a long walk along Noordhoek Beach with some friends. The beach is over 8 km long, and we walked about 2/3 of it… and back! As we walked, I enjoyed the beautiful, panoramic views of the mountains on one side and the sea on the other side. In addition, I periodically found myself enjoying the view at my feet (as geologists often do), admiring the patterns in the sand. I took a few pictures of the sand beneath my feet, and I thought I’d share one for this week’s “Monday Geology Picture” post. The picture above shows two generations of footprints, one fresh and made by my friends moments before and one older and halfway erased by the wind, both on top of some windswept sand patterns. I wonder how long ago the older generation of footprints was made. Were the footprints made a few hours before I snapped my picture? A few days? How long, in general, does it take for footprints to fade from a beach? I imagine that it must depend upon the wind, amongst other things.