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Beelbi Creek discharges its tanin stained water across the sands of Hervey Bay, Queensland

The tidal currents, storm waves and river discharges play with the sand creating a wonderful ripple board, across which the tanin-stained waters, discharging from Beelbi Creek paint a bold abstract painting.

Back in recent geological time, this was the mouth of the Burrum River, but since it was abandoned by the river, it merely drains the Melaleuca wetlands behind the sandy coastal barrier. Today, Beelbi Creek, discharges its clean fresh water stained by the tanin from the roots systems of the forests in the wallum wetlands, out into Hervey Bay.

Large amounts of silica sand have been and are carried north along the New South Wales and southern Queensland by the longshore drift. This movement of sand in the surf zone is generated by waves approaching the coast from the south-east, thus moving sand to the north as the waves break. The resulting stream of sand eventually arrives on the ocean beaches of Fraser Island. As it flows past the northern end of Fraser Island (Sandy Cape and Breaksea Spit) much of the sand then spills off the edge of the continental shelf. However, some of the sand is worked around into Hervey bay by storm waves and refracting waves, slowly being worked across the floor of the bay until it reaches the western shore, pictured here.

Here the sand and water, waves and tides, play artistic games.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 22, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens