2014 Volume 55 Issue 3 Pages 493-500
Beachrock is a type of sedimentary deposit held together mainly by calcium carbonate cement in the tidal zone of sandy beaches in tropical and subtropical regions. Man-made beachrock has the potential to inhibit coastal erosion; considering this important application, we performed field investigations and laboratory tests to understand the formation mechanisms of beachrocks in Okinawa and Ishikawa, Japan. We performed a needle penetration test, microbial population count and urease activity test, and conducted elemental and mineral analyses. Our investigation showed that in Okinawa the evaporation of seawater and/or urease activity of the microorganisms may have resulted in precipitation of high Mg calcite, leading to the formation of beachrock. In Ishikawa, beachrock and sand were present near a spring with a relatively high concentration of Al3+. The mixing of spring water (pH 4.7) with seawater could have led to the precipitation of the Al- and Si-bearing cement that is consolidating the sand particles, leading to development of beachrock.