Skip to main content

Beach Rock

  • Reference work entry

Part of the Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series book series (EESS)

Synonyms

Beach rock; Beach sandstone

Definition

Beach rock results from lithification of unconsolidated sediments by calcium carbonate cements in the tidal zone of mainly tropical and subtropical beaches. Aragonite and calcite, in a number of crystalline forms, are the primary agents of cementation. All kinds of beach sediments can be cemented, from fine sands to gravels of biogenic and/or terrigenous origin. Beach rocks can also vary greatly in texture and degree of lithification, some being quite porous and friable, others being dense and highly indurated. Beach rock takes on the disposition of the parent beach, including the preservation of beach slopes and stratigraphy. Outcrops usually show a number of distinct bands that represent the bedding planes, internal laminae, and sedimentary structures preserved during the cementing process which can be quite rapid.

Description

Beach rocks are a common and conspicuous feature of many island and mainland shores in reefal areas. They vary...

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2_44
  • Chapter length: 5 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   549.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-90-481-2639-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout

Bibliography

  • Barbosa, S. S., Byrne, M., and Kelaher, B. P., 2008. Bioerosion caused by foraging of the tropical chiton Acanthopleura gemmata at One Tree Reef, southern Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs, 27, 635–639.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Caldas, L. H. O., Stattegger, K., and Vital, H., 2006. Holocene sea-level history: evidence from coastal sediments of the northern Rio Grande do Norte coast, NE Brazil. Marine Geology, 228, 39–53.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Chivas, A., Chappell, J., Polach, H., Pillans, B., and Flood, P., 1986. Radiocarbon evidence for the timing and rate of island development, beach-rock formation and phosphatization at Lady Elliot Island, Queensland, Australia. Marine Geology, 69, 273–287.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • David, T. E. W., and Sweet, G., 1904. The geology of Funafuti. In The Atoll of Funafuti: Borings into a Coral Reef and the Results. London: Report of the Coral Reef Committee of the Royal Society, pp. 61–124.

    Google Scholar 

  • Davies, P., and Kinsey, D.W., 1973. Organic and inorganic factors in recent beach rock formation, Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 43, 59–81.

    Google Scholar 

  • Diez, B., Bauer, K., and Bergman, B., 2007. Epilithic cyanobacterial communities of a tropical beach rock (Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef ): diversity and diazotrophy. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73, 3656–3668.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Desruelles, S., Fouache, E., Ciner, A., Dalongeville, R., Pavlopoulos, K., Kosun, E., Coquinot, Y., and Potdevin, J. L., 2009. Beachrocks and sea level changes since Middle Holocene: comparison between the insular group of Mykonos-Delos-Rhenia (Cyclades, Greece) and the southern coast of Turkey. Global and Planetary Change, 66, 19–33.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gardiner, J. S., 1903. The Fauna and Geography of the Maldive and Laccadive Archipelagoes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 146–183, 313–346, 376–423.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gischler, E., and Lomando, A. J., 1997. Holocene cemented beach deposits in Belize. Sedimentary Geology, 110, 277–297.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hopley, D., 1986. Beachrock as a sea-level indicator. In Van de Plassche, O. (ed.), Sea-level Research: A Manual for the Collection and Evaluation of Data. Norwich: Geo Books, pp. 157–173.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kelletat, D., 2006. Beachrock as sea-level indicator? Remarks from a geomorphological point of view. Journal of Coastal Research, 22(6), 1558–1564.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Khadkikar, A. S., and Rajshekhar, C., 2003. Microbial cements in Holocene beachrocks of South Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal. Current Science, 84, 933–936.

    Google Scholar 

  • Knight, J., 2007. Beachrock reconsidered. Discussion of: Kelletat, D. 2006. Beachrock as sea-level indicator? Remarks from a geomorphological point of view. Journal of Coastal Research, 23, 1074–1078.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lambeck, K., Antonioli, F., Purcell, A., and Silenzi, S., 2004. Sea-level change along the Italian coast for the past 10,000 yr. Quaternary Science Reviews, 23, 1567–1598.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • McLean, R. F., 1974. Geologic significance of bioerosion of beachrock. Proceedings Second International Coral Reef Symposium, 2, 401–408.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scoffin, T. P., and Stoddart, D. R., 1983. Beachrock and intertidal cements. In Goudie, A. S., and Pye, K. (eds.), Chemical Sediments and Geomorphology: Precipitates and Residua in the Near-Surface Environment. London: Academic, pp. 401–425.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stoddart, D. R., and Cann, J. R., 1965. Nature and origin of beachrock. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 35, 243–273.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tatumi, S. H., Kowata, E. A., Gozzi, G., Kassab, L. R., Suguio, K., Barreto, A. M., and Bezerra, F. H., 2003. Optical dating results of beachrock, eolic dunes and sediments applied to sea-level changes study. Journal of Luminescence, 102–103, 562–565.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Vousdoukas, M. I., Velegrakis, A. F., and Plotmaritis, T. A., 2007. Beachrock occurrence, characteristics, formation mechanisms and impacts. Earth Science Reviews, 85, 23–46.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

About this entry

Cite this entry

McLean, R. (2011). Beach Rock. In: Hopley, D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2_44

Download citation