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Wales Online
Wales Online
Robert Harries

Strange bubbles appear in sand on Welsh beach which people should stay away from

An usual sight appeared at a popular Welsh beach on Saturday afternoon. One beachgoer spotted strange bubbles coming up from a pool in the sand as he was walking along the beach in Porthcawl.

The bubbles could be seen in a shallow pool a short distance from the tide at Rest Bay. Soft sand could be seen in the pool, which contained extremely cold water despite the glorious sunshine.

The sand appeared to be sinking sand and people, especially children, are advised to stay away from it should they encounter it on any beach. Sinking sand, or quicksand as it’s sometimes called, usually consists of sand that’s become waterlogged. Sand can become so saturated with water that it reduces friction between particles, meaning it can’t hold as much weight from above.

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(Media Wales)

Last year, a couple encountered a similar sight in Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire. On that occasion. The woman who spotted it said: “The sand was like sinking sand. I had wellies on and my whole welly went down and could have kept going further if I didn’t pull it out. It was quite scary because the tide was coming in. It could be dangerous if someone got stuck.”

It's thought that sinking sand is often caused by an underground spring. A spring is the point at which groundwater discharges onto the surface. Water moves at different rates though the ground depending on its flow path and the permeability of the geological layers. Springs occur when water pressure causes a natural flow of groundwater onto the earth’s surface. One geological structure commonly associated with springs is a layer of permeable soil or rock overlying an impermeable one.

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