Where on Google Earth (WoGE) #333: Modern coastal system!

Got another one!  This brings my WoGE tally to a grand total of … 2 🙂  The first one (#296) that I won was the impetus for starting off the shelf edge (link), so I guess I owe it all to WoGE!  I generally don’t even see the WoGE, but #332 was tweeted right when I was checking my feed, and I thought to myself, “I bet that is somewhere in the mining district of northern Chile.”  So I went and flew around, and bam! found the Salar de Atacama – Florian Jenn from EffJot says:

This is the Salar (salt flat) de Atacama, where lithium-rich brines are pumped from the underground and evaporated in these pools. The extreme aridity (therefore high evaporation) of the area makes lithium salt production cheaper here. It is one of the major lithium producers of the world. (But also potassium and boron salts are found here.)

I couldn’t say it better myself!  These mining operations have exploded in the past 10 or so years as hybrid cars have become more common, needing lots of lithium for batteries.   I have also shown y’all some other (potash) evaporation pools from Utah (see this post about halfway down). They are awesome, and very photogenic (see Ron Schott’s photos)

Florian and Felix have been chomping at the bit for 333 to come out, and it seems there is Roman historical significance to the number 333. Sorry to disappoint, gents, but for WoGE #333, I present you a nice modern coastal depositional system, not Roman runis 🙂  I have been working with a guy for about a year now that is an expert in coastal sedimentary geology, and he is always looking through Google Earth for cool modern rivers and coastlines.  This one I don’t think he has seen, but he will like it.  I will leave the description of this system to the winner, but there is a plethora of warring depositional processes going on here.

For a description what WoGE is, see Felix Bossert’s blog and for WoGE ‘stratigraphy’, see Ron Schott’s KML.  Schott rule invoked – former winners have to wait until posting for 1 hour for each WoGE they got right.

The scale bar is 3 km, and an important note: the top of the image is not north, but about 340 (NW) – i.e., north is pointing close to the upper right hand corner of the image.  Not a lot of rotation, but enough to warrant the note.


Click the image to make it bigger.


16 thoughts on “Where on Google Earth (WoGE) #333: Modern coastal system!

  1. Pingback: Where on Google Earth (WoGE) #333: Modern coastal system! ? off … | appsgoogleplus.com

  2. It is at 39°2’S 177°24′ on New Zealand’s North Island, where the Wairoa river flows into Hawke Bay.

    The river is prone to flooding (with the largest discharge ever measured in New Zealand (11400m³/s), according to Wikipedia. Additionally, the valley close to the river mouth is rather narrow (hills/mountains to the east and west) which puts the city Wairoa (shown in the picture’s center) on the floodplain at a high flooding risk.

    The little river from the top left corner to the center shows some nice meandering, unlike the Wairoa itself with just a few bends and now discernible oxbows.

    At the river mouth, where the Wairoa water meets the ocean, deposited sediment forms a bar, which obstructed ship traffic and in the past led to the failure of the harbour.

  3. I have been interested in playing this game before, but have never felt like I had the time. Today I managed to find the location. The town in the bend of the river is Wairoa, New Zealand, and the location at the point where the river bends back west around the town is at around 39° 2’5.52″S and 177°26’4.28″E, or at least that is where the pin I aimed at the point landed. This is the north island of New Zealand, and the river (it shares a name with the town which means “long river”), empties into Hawke’s Bay.

    A quick search for geology in this area gives this article: New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 1989 V32 p 333-341 Holocene sediments and vertical tectonic downwarping near Wairoa, Northern Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand by Ota, Berryman, Brown, and Kashima. This article focuses on the sediment deposition in a synclinal basin, and is so not my area of specialty, since I am a metamorphic petrologist.

    From what I can see in the image I would say that the currents here tend to be generally westward, which is why the sand has built up on the east side of the river mouth.

  4. Oh, darn, I hit refresh before I started typing, and your answer wasn’t there yet, but in the time it took to finish typing, yours beat me. But then again, that is fair, because you know way more about the area than I do!

  5. Lifelong Scholar, that was a very close one! Unlike my collection of fluffy prose, you presented some “real” geologic information and reference. I hope this didn’t cost you those 9 minutes…

    It would be nice to have new people in the game, so perhaps Zane would like to accept your answer as the better one?

  6. Well, I suspect that doing the research and typing it up did take more than nine minutes, since I knew nothing of the area before finding it, but you already knew the answer hours ago, you clearly found it first!

  7. Wow, what a close one!! It took almost a day, but two people got it, 9 minutes apart!

    Since Florian of EffJot is feeling altruistic, I am going to award it to A Lifelong Scholar – welcome to WoGE!! Someday you will have as many wins as I do (2) 🙂

    Both of y’all picked up on the fluvial, tidal, and wave modifications to that coastline – my favorite is the nice tidal funnel (the widening of the river as it nears the sea) and also the spit that has grown across the river mouth, due most likely to southward directed longshore drift (as ALS already mentioned). FJ, for perspective, 11,000 m3/s is about the average annual discharge of the Mississippi River – so, wow, thats a lot of water coming down that small river! The sediment yield is probably also very high, as the catchment is eroding (among other things) young and unconsolidated sediments.

    Okay, it is A Lifelong Scholar’s turn for WoGE #334 – enjoy!

  8. Are you guys certain about that? He clearly knew the answer well before I found it, and was only waiting for the expiration of the Schott rule…

    (Not that I am not willing to host it, I certainly am, but I don’t want to step on any toes on my first trip into the pool…)

  9. Yes, that’s no problem. I just started to get back into the game and really like to solve WoGEs more than making new ones (which has become a daunting task).

    Also, WoGEs are a nice “tool” to make you visit other geoblogs. Therefore, more players are good.

    Anyway I would need to double my score to beat Felix and advance just one place (and another almost doubling after that to get past Péter), so 1 point doesn’t make much difference. 😉

  10. For the scoring of this challenge I suggest a tie, meaning jf and LifelongScholar do get one point. Woge334 is going to be hosted be LifelongScholar.

    Both correct answers came in within 9 min. jf was so honourable to give the game away as he just had won a previous Woge and he also is the proud owner many 13 points. This is also supposed to be a relaxed game. In our list we do have four ties up to now.

    If you disagree, please comment.

    I would like to ask Jane as the host of this game, if he thinks a tie scoring is ok?

    1. A Life-Long Scholar

      Been trying and failing to post ont my own blog since yesterday, but no luck, so trying here. Yes, Felix got WoGE #334 correct and is clear to post #335. Will say more when I return home from a conference and have a computer again…

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