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Old 25th June 2012
catkins catkins is offline
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Re: Seaham Excursion shots

Originally Posted by LMGruchy View Post
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.
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The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to catkins For This Useful Post:
LMGruchy (25th June 2012), Zuiko (25th June 2012)