erosion

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Catedral de Marmol Lago General Carrera Patagonia Chile

Literally translated to ‘The Marble Cathedral’  this beautiful natural rock is pure calcium carbonate which throughout the years the sea has eroded the coastal rocks creating these stunning formations. 

It consists of a few islets located a few meters from the lakeshore, which are named Cathedral Marble, Marble Chapel and Marble Cave.

You can access these formations through the lake in small boats from the town of Puerto Río Tranquilo (in the commune of Río Ibáñez, 223 km from Coyhaique, capital of the Aysen region). From here you can rent small boats that cross the field of Marble Cathedral when the lake is at a low level.

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Waves of the Atlantic Ocean striking the coastline in Barbados.

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Wind, ice and sand

Wandering along the beaches of an icy Lake Michigan, the photographer spotted these foot high baby yardangs (aka hoodoos) on the normally sandy beach. Dozens of these towers were rising up over what had been a flat expanse of sand, and the life cycle of this phenomenon reveals in a few days or weeks erosional processes that take many millennia or more in rocks.

The beach was frozen in the winter cold, solidifying. The ice (which is also a mineral) cemented the grains into a temporary, temperature mediated sandstone, in much the same way as calcite or silica from the waters that percolate the depths of the Earth do to sediments during their transformation into rock (a complex set of processes known as diagenesis). The howling winter winds then eroded the beach in the same way that they would a sandstone, but much faster than usual since ice is a lot softer than the usual mineral cements found in sedimentary rocks.

A couple of days later (these were taken on Valentine’s day), he returned to check on them, but a rise in temperature had dissolved them all, melting their icy cement.

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HIDEAWAY - Camp Ellis, Maine

Right on this road to Camp Ellis (alt. 20, Saco), a beautiful spot on the northern bank of the Saco River at its mouth, with a rugged breakwater and a view of Biddeford Pool and the Wood Island Light. Power boats with pilots can be hired here for a day’s fishing on the ‘grounds’.

A squatters’ colony has grown to a sizable collection of cottages and shacks here on the spit, a piece of land made within the past 10 years by drifting sands that now cover part of the breakwater.  –Maine: A Guide ‘Down East’, (WPA 1937)

Camp Ellis is a small and mostly seasonal cottage community sitting at the mouth of the Saco River where it spills into the sourthern end of Saco Bay, a small embayment in the greater Gulf of Maine. As well as I like to think I know my native state, somehow I never knew of this community’s existence until recently.

It sits almost hidden by the tall pine forest you drive through, east of the north-south Maine Turnpike corridor and further east of one of the more tourist-trap-ridden sections of Route 1. Located in the town of Saco, it’s just down the coast from Old Orchard Beach, a popular summer beach destination, riddled with clam shacks, souvenir and t-shirt shops, as well as the oceanfront amusement park Palace Playland.

So it’s a bit of reprieve from all that hoopla just up the coast, being positioned at that furthest point of land where the river meets the sea. This community keeps their attractions simple with the Camp Ellis General Store being one of the few businesses in town. If you’re looking for greater entertaiment you might take a ride offshore out to the Wood Island Lighthouse, considered haunted after a gruesome murder-suicide in the 1890s.

A small and simple town it may be, however it does have a big problem: a shrinking shoreline. In the late 1800s it was decided the Army Corp of Engineers would build rock jettys to protect the navigable channel of the Saco River. Ships needed to travel upriver to the milltowns of Biddeford and Saco. The decision however was based on a misunderstaning of the geological processes of the river and the sea, so for 100+ years the community has been contending with a beach that isn’t properly replenishing itself with sand. They’ve lost dozens of homes and bits of streets to the rising tide that keeps pressing west.

And that’s pretty much all I know about this small, seaside rivertown I’ve only just discovered. I can’t imagine how crowded it must be in the heat of summer, but at sundown on a Sunday night in the early throes of winter you’ve got the place to yourself – almost no one around except a dozen stray cats and a fleet of commercial fishing boats waiting to go back to work when the sun comes up on Monday.

American Guide to Maine, Brett Klein, returned to his native state in July of 2015. He spent a dozen years in Connecticut and regretted most of it. He’s now back where he belongs, exploring what he missed on the first go around. See more of his work on his website, Tumblr and Instagram.

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The Three Bridge Chasm

This unique gorge in Tannourine, Lebanon was carved out of Jurassic limestone (160 million years old) over time. Erosion and a number of collapses left three natural arches spanning over the deep canyon. The natural bridges rise one above the other and give the Baatara gorge its distinct appearance.

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3

A new seawall along the English Bay coastline in Vancouver, BC, designed as an alternative to a purely functional infrastructures by landscape architects Paul Sangha, working with a biologist and engineers.

In addition to the angular wall, plantings and strategically placed boulders create a more porous edge, slowing the flow of water and the deposit of sediment, and building up a new sand beach

The seawall is designed as a functional piece of infrastructure but also becomes a careful steward of the greater landscape.

From The Atlantic City Lab

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Goodness gracious. 

One would expect linguistic erosion, or the erosion of meaning and grounds, to result from wrong words, but the right word also erodes. Right or wrong, any word is subject to processes of erosion and sedimentation, errancy and stability, that enable it to reach a destination or to be destined at all. Erosion, then, far from posing a threat to all grounds, is in fact essential to them. Conceptual erosion does indeed threaten to undermine clarity and understanding, but at the same time it allows in part for their possibility. That matter and matters are capable of being broken down (or that they do break down) is what ensures their intelligibility, even if it prevents their being wholly understood, or understood wholly.