Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Wall of Foam

Some amazing pictures of what happened when the shoreline north of Sydney was transformed into an enormous bubble bath after foam churned up by powerful currents and then tossed by waves appeared on the beach.

From the Daily Mail:
Foam swallowed an entire beach and half the nearby buildings, including the local lifeguards’ centre, in a freak display of nature at Yamba in New South Wales. One minute a group of teenage surfers were waiting to catch a wave, the next they were swallowed up in a giant bubble bath. The foam was so light that they could puff it out of their hands and watch it float away.

The foam is created by impurities in the ocean, such as salts, chemicals, dead plants, decomposed fish and excretions from seaweed.

All are churned up together by powerful currents which cause the water to form bubbles.

These bubbles stick to each other as they are carried below the surface by the current towards the shore.

As a wave starts to form on the surface, the motion of the water causes the bubbles to swirl upwards and, massed together, they become foam.

The foam "surfs" towards shore until the wave "crashes", tossing the foam into the air.

3 comments:

Tillerman said...

Can't wait to sail my Laser in that stuff. No way the jury could spoy rule 42 violations when you're sailing through that!

will said...

spumata! i've seen a little of that off the massachusetts coast after winter nor-easters. fantastic pictures.

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