Thursday, 3 August 2017

Hamelin Pool

A visit to the Hamelin Pool area of Shark Bay is almost like stepping back in time. A time 3.5 billion years ago when oxygen levels in our atmosphere was extremely low. The stromatolites, built very very slowly by living organisms, developed because the shallow water in the pool is twice as saline as sea water because of sandbars, and the water evaporates quickly. And they gave us the oxygen we depend on today. No wonder this is a World Heritage area.

Stamatolites at Hamelin Pool, a World Heritage area.

The boardwalk viewing platform

Damage to the foreshore by carts and vehicles associated with the wool industry is still evident.
The dunes are also interesting because this is a shelly beach composed almost entirely of the shells of Fragum erugatum, small (6mm) marine cockles, and the dunes are as well. Older shells in have been compressed into a conglomerate rock called coquina (a great word for Scrabble) that in the past was harvested, sawn into blocks for building purposes. The worksite is also heritage listed.

The shelly beach
Shelly sand dune
Shelly rock quarry
The foreshore area is extremely harsh but still the plants manage to survive. These are all flowering within metres of the high tide mark.

Hamelin Pool
Something chose the highest vegetation to build its nest in.

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