Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Point Grey Foreshore - Part One

This short stretch of shoreline just west of Volunteer Park, between Kitsilano and Jericho Beach, is a fascinating collision of public beach, geology, seawalls, and art. I really had trouble figuring out how to separate these things.  My posts get confusing (or simply never get done) when I try to cover too many different topics in a single entry, so I'm going to break this 45-minute beach walk into three four separate posts. That also makes it easier to use more photos.

The Point Grey Foreshore is carved into a low bluff of Eocene sandstone. As we'll see in the next couple of posts, the cliff itself is now largely hidden behind high walls, but the sandstone makes extensive appearances on the foreshore as southerly dipping ledges. These can be seen in both the photos and in the aerial imagery.


There's not a lot of sand or gravel on the platform, although there are sporadic patches of beach associated with irregularities in the uneven shoreface. Much of the sediment is actually shell hash, suggesting that the sandstone erodes slowly enough to allow crustaceans to establish and not fast enough to generate much mineral sediment. What sand and gravel does exist is probably moved rapidly eastward by westerly wave action - to end up at Kitsilano Beach in another few posts.

Point Grey seems a pretty appropriate name for these photos, given the drab afternoon - but the next couple of posts will at least try to add some local color.  By the way, I believe Point Grey refers to the entire peninsula, which extends out to Wreck Beach (a prime future post) at UBC, but "Point Grey Foreshore" typically refers to this northern shore.

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