The Living Earth | Ocean Beach
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Location: Located West of Strahan, along Ocean Beach Road | Google Maps Reference


Key facts about this geosite:
• Dramatic coastal scenery and views along a 32 km long beach.
• Interesting dune stratigraphy and palaeosols are preserved.


Geosite Description: Ocean Beach forms the coastline west of Strahan, running 32 kilometres along the coast from Trial Harbour to Hells Gates. The beach is adjacent to the Henty Dunes (Geosite 4) and is widely considered to have high conservation, aesthetic and recreational value. It is most easily accessed via a good, well signposted road 5 kilometres due west of Strahan, of a longer but more scenic route is via Macquarie Heads campground, about 12 kilometres from Strahan.


The southern end of the beach is backed by a spit (the sand bar at the mouth of Macquarie Harbour) (Figure 3). The beach sands are moving southwards along the beach by longshore drift, evidence for which is provided by the southward diversion of the mouth of the Henty River (Baillie and Corbett 1985).


Eroded dune exposures and palaeosols (buried fossil soils) are found exposed along the expansive beach. These palaeosols have high scientific significance as they record changes in the environmental and geomorphic conditions in the Macquarie Harbour area over a long time. The beach is backed by cliffs of horizontally-bedded sand, cross-bedded dune sand, and peat which formed in the swales of dunes. These sands show little, if any, soil development and are regarded as Holocene in age.


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