The Mysterious Shapes Found at Oregon Coast's Fogarty Beach

Published 11/21/2015 at 2:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff


(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – Something really weird and astounding lurks beneath the sands of Fogarty Beach, on the central Oregon coast. This popular beach spot is already well known for its freakishly large grains of sand (which can be a bit ouchy in your bare feet) and rocky curiosities. But what lies below them is downright amazing.

These unusual sights show up very rarely: only when sand levels get scoured out by winter storms to extremely low levels. Jagged grooves show when the bedrock here is uncovered. Wild fossils lurk in the rocks (some of which are even viewable when sand levels are more normal). And then there are these objects almost impossible to describe.

As shown in the photo at top, these are the massive grooves in the bedrock of Fogarty Beach, as seen in early 2007. During that winter – and the following one – sand levels got so low that all kinds of things were uncovered.

These have an interesting explanation, according to local experts like Guy DiTorrice, Laura Joki of Lincoln City agate shop Rock Your World, and geologist Jonathan Allan, Ph.D with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Both Allan and Joki agreed the bedrock is of the Astoria formation, which is about 15 to 20 million years old. This part of it is mudstone, and the grooves are what geologists term “rills” which have been eroded into this rock.

“This occurs through a variety of approaches, including wave action (oscillatory currents), abrasion (especially when sand levels that periodically cover the platforms fall below 30 cm, the sand begins to act as an abrasive), cavitation (hydraulic effects), and wetting/drying cycles (exposure to sun),” Allan said. “Biological effects can also contribute to some of this.”

In other words, it's a combo of waves digging at it, the sand grinding into it, and changes in how dry or wet the rock is.

Then there's that truly unique object that looks like an egg. Joki and Allan say it's a “concretion,” something built up very slowly over time. Where to stay in this area - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

“The light thing sticking out of the darker rock is a concretion, a rock formed around old dead things that died and sunk to the bottom of the ancient ocean,” Joki said. “Sometimes there are fossils in the concretions, sometimes not.”

Allan said concretions form through various chemical reactions.

“Essentially they form by the precipitation of mineral cement within the spaces between particles,” Allan said.

These can be found in sedimentary rock or soil.

Then there is that touch of Jurassic Park at Fogarty, with the fossil of a large scallop called a petcin. It too is around 15 to 20 million years old, Allan and Joki said. They are the ancient relatives of the sea scallops we know today. More of these Fogarty Beach oddities below and at the Depoe Bay Virtual Tour, Map.






More About Depoe Bay Lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon

 


 


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oregon Coast Under Heat Advisory; Inland Excessive Heat Watch
Even the upper half of the coast is under the heat advisory, as temps could be close to 90. Watch the waves as well
Nature Walks, Talks at Oregon Coast Beach Bill Party in Cannon Beach
A special beachwalk, along with speakers and a party on Thursday, July 6. Cannon Beach events
Summer Solstice Tomorrow: What It Means for Oregon, the Coast
For the Oregon coast, there is an added element of surprise. Weather, science
Oregon Coast History: Newport's Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and Trying Times
It's a stately if not tiny tidbit of Oregon coast history, having only been in operation for three years
Yachats State Recreation Area - Yachats, Oregon Coast Virtual Tour
Up against the bay, at the mouth of the Yachats River, lies the paved parking lot and beach access of the Yachats State Recreation Area. Kids, travel tips
Oregon Coast Summer, Events, Attractions, Science and Tourism Latest Summer News
Attractions - Events - Beaches - Stuff You Didn't Know. Discover Summer on the coast, including updated news and events
Cape Kiwanda, Oregon Coast: Complete Travel, Guide, Info
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area full guide. Scenery, history, attractions, hiking, viewpoints, dune, geology. Pacific City, travel tips
Small Storm to Hit Oregon Coast, Portland
Gusts along the beaches could be up to 55 mph, Portland wind in the 30s

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted