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01/06/2008

Whitehaven, Whitsundays Islands, Australia


This photo was taken in the Whitsunday Islands, which are a collective of 74 continental islands of various sizes off the coast of Queensland in Australia. More precisely, taken from Hill Inlet on Whitsunday Island, and showing Whitehaven Beach at the background. Whitehaven Beach is almost 6km long and consists of a very fine dazzling white sand that is 98% pure Silica! The sand is minute powder-size grains of quartz and has been assayed at 99.89% pure, well above the minimum requirement for glass-making and suitable for the finest glass for optical lenses for binoculars etc. Its origin is not known definitely but geologists say it does not have a local origin as rocks of the Whitsunday area are quartz-poor. They think the most likely explanation is that it is the result of a longshore drift system which brings sand from the south along the Queensland coast, very evident in the Gold Coast/Fraser Island area. The Whitehaven sand is so pure it indicates that during the drift all heavy mineral sands and other impurities have been winnowed out leaving the quartz sand. Probably there is an eddy effect in Whitehaven Bay which causes the sand to drop out and accumulate there. See Whitsunday Tourism to know more about the Whitsundays.

This photo has been selected Photoburst Photo of the day on 28th Aug 2008

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

They forgot the "e" after the h of Whitehaven. This is a white heaven !.... Wonderderful place and wonderfull photo !

tetsu said...

Beautiful!!