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-   -   eGroup Meetup Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=21324)

Ulfric M Douglas 25th June 2012 06:07 AM

Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread
I guess I'm up in time to start the thread, luckily I happen to have a couple of nice 'album covers' from Catkins' pebble-stacking escapade.
(These are on the more normal beach below Seaham Hall carpark, blast beach stuff later.)


Below : Catkins, Woofmix, Wally, Trish, Meach, Ulfric


Zuiko 25th June 2012 08:40 AM

Re: Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread
Come on then Ulfric, spill the beans - who's who? :D

meach 25th June 2012 12:05 PM

Seaham Excursion shots
Had a great time yesterday - thanks to all those who turned up. It was good to finally meet some of you and put some faces to names. Here's a small selection of shots - still got a few to process:







LMGruchy 25th June 2012 12:18 PM

Re: Seaham Excursion shots
Great Photos. Why is that water so brown? Looks like strong tea. Is it iron in the water? Or peat leachate?

Ulfric M Douglas 25th June 2012 12:25 PM

Quickly done!
Thanks Meach, thanks Ian for the superquick merge.

I was trying out the 7-frame bracket in this here e-pM1 ;

Look what straight-out-of-camera can give us when the conditions are right!
Apologies for gallery/jpeg compression posterisation in the lovely sky. The original is smooth.

Ian 25th June 2012 12:47 PM

Re: Seaham Excursion shots

Originally Posted by Ulfric M Douglas (Post 173373)
? There's already a thread Meach.


Ian, can you merge these threads please?

The threads have been merged as requested.


meach 25th June 2012 12:58 PM

Re: Seaham Excursion shots

Originally Posted by LMGruchy (Post 173372)
Great Photos. Why is that water so brown? Looks like strong tea. Is it iron in the water? Or peat leachate?

Thank you. I'm afraid I can't answer your question - hopefully someone who can will be along sometime.

Ulfric M Douglas 25th June 2012 01:47 PM

Re: Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread
Rust basically.
The whole beach was used over roughtly fifty years to dump industrial waste from the steelmaking industry and some others like glassmaking too.
The whole place smells of iron and something else, maybe sulphuric acid. Catkins can smell sulphur too.

e-P1, 17mm, sooc.

jdal 25th June 2012 01:50 PM

Re: Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread
A few of this rather excellent beach. Helen and I chickened out of the afternoon session as it looked like it was going to get - er - damp :eek:

A few from the trip:

Looks like an ordinary beach from up here

But it isn't! - This stack will be in a few shots:

The pooch

Cochineal ponds

Caves under Noses Point

catkins 25th June 2012 01:54 PM

Re: Seaham Excursion shots

Originally Posted by LMGruchy (Post 173372)
Great Photos. Why is that water so brown? Looks like strong tea. Is it iron in the water? Or peat leachate?

I nearly started answering this question thinking you meant the last photo, but I'll presume that you actually mean the brown and orange pond? This whole area was part of a massive sea-tipping area for colliery waste and all sorts of waste that came from associated industries that supplied the colliery, such as ironworks.

This area is a grey layer of colliery waste and there was a strong smell of sulphur and yellow sulphur deposits evident all around this area, and I believe the coal was quite sulphurous, so most of the smell is from this.
I don't know my chemicals and industrial processes too well, - so my guess has always been that the yellow orangy brown ponds are probably some interesting chemical concoction that might be acidic - but I haven't dipped the litmus paper into it to find out! But then the yellow magnesium limestone cliffs behind are presumably alkaline, so maybe the ponds will be relatively inert - there are no warning signs, but I wouldn't want to fall in!

Elsewhere I found some reference to -
Complex chemical reactions between the pyrite, seawater and shale is, today, forming vivid yellow crusts and cauliflower-like masses of the unusual minerals copiapite, sideronatrite and natrojarosite at Hawthorn and Blast Beach.
So all in all, some interesting side affects of the industrial waste!.


PS - some great photos coming out of this trip - I'll add in later hopefully.

Stewart G 25th June 2012 01:55 PM

What a beautiful series. I especially like the lighthouse...

Ken Lister 25th June 2012 02:29 PM

Re: Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread
Yet more photos from Sunday.

Blast Beach from the pillbox.

Alien landscape

The crab Wally wanted a photo of.

Pebble Art on the beach.

What remains of mining and blast furnace waste.

Not forgetting the weather - a 'light' shower blowing in from the North Sea.


Wally 25th June 2012 02:30 PM

Re: Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread
Just another snippet or two of useless info. 'Blast' beach is very probably a contraction of 'ballast' as ships used to lighten their loads quite frequently. In 1993, the SF film Alien 3 used this very location in the opening sequences due to the 'alien' nature [ as mentioned by Ken] of the black sand and the very unusual surrounding rock formations.

jdal 25th June 2012 02:39 PM

Re: Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread
And just to snippet the snippet, the ballast was flint pebbles brought back from the south by returning colliers. There are large drifts of them at Frenchmans Cove at South Shields, where they make perfect landings for the climbing there *yes

The Ironworks which was the source of the rock-hard iron waste at Noses Point was in fact a Blast Furnace, which stood on the top of Noses Point 1862 to 1885. Blast furnace/blast beach?? Sounds feasible. The beach further south was called "Chemical Beach" from the Victorian chemical works which was there, dumping waste onto the beach. Then the NCB dumped coal on top of it all. Quite a mucky history!

Ulfric M Douglas 25th June 2012 04:47 PM

Re: Seaham 2012 : Blast Beach Photo thread
The stack, again.

We liked the shape of this outcrop. "Dragonclaw Rock" that'll do. See the three toes?

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