Saltwater Corrosion in Iron

Abstract rust art

Macro-photography of the natural patterns, textures and colours of the corrosion or oxidation products (rust) on a piece of seaside ironwork -  caused by saltwater as the structure is alternately washed by the sea and dried in the air with the rise and fall of each tide.

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Old Whiteford Boat Wreck

Remains of a small boat wreck in the sand

I revisit things I have found on the beach to see how they change with time.

I hadn’t walked along Whiteford Sands for quite a while. My last visit was a few months ago – in December, I think. I was surprised at how much the seashore had changed when I went there again a couple of weeks ago in mid-March. There have been some very striking large scale changes as a result of the winter storms (and I will talk about what has been uncovered very soon).

I have photographed the remains of the small wrecked boat at Whiteford many times over the past ten years. Despite the major transformations to the Whiteford Point area over winter, the little wooden boat wreck remained untouched. This time the planking of the upturned hull was mostly covered by dry sand. However, part of the keel or mast-housing was still above ground. The timbers a little more weathered and etched – providing a great place for yellow lichen to flourish. The rusting old ironwork staining the adjacent timbers but the rivets still holding all the pieces together. The wreck looked very picturesque against the pristine wind-blown sand and the cold blue sky.

Remains of a small boat wreck in the sand

Yellow lichen on weathered timber with rusty ironwork on the remains of a small boat wreck

Yellow lichen on weathered timber with rusty ironwork on the remains of a small boat wreck

Yellow lichen on weathered timber with rusty ironwork on the remains of a small boat wreck

Remains of a small boat wreck in the sand

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

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Limpets on rusty iron

Limpets on rusty iron (1) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to rusty iron seaside pier.

I like the appearance of rust and I’m always looking out for interesting colours, patterns, and textures in oxidising iron. A good place to look is the metalwork on seaside groynes and piers which are invariably corroded by seawater. I find it amazing that small seaside creatures like limpets settle in these seemingly inhospitable locations where they eek out a living by grazing the microscopic algae that coat the surfaces. In their turn, as the limpets cling on to these man-made objects, the shells become stained by the orange of the rust and the green of the algae so that they blend into the overall constantly evolving design.

Limpets on rusty iron (2) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (3) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (4) -  Living limpets (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (5) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (6) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (7) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (8) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (9) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (10) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (11) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

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Rusty wreck at Ringstead

Rusty iron on Ringstead beach: Detail from a rusty iron ship wreck at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (1)

Colours, textures, abstract patterns – the rusty iron wreck at Ringstead Bay has it all. Fascinating to observe from visit to visit as it shifts, breaks up, changes. These rapidly corroding remains have lain on the shingle beach for years but I have failed in finding out anything about them.

Detail from a rusty iron ship wreck at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (2)

Detail from a rusty iron ship wreck at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (3) 

Texture of rusty iron: Detail from a rusty iron ship wreck at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (4)

The rusting remains of an iron ship wreck at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK (part of the Jurassic Coast) (5)

The rusting remains of an iron ship wreck at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK (part of the Jurassic Coast) (6) 

 Revision of a post first published 24 October 2009

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

All Rights Reserved

Rust patterns at the seaside

Rust colour, pattern and texture: Multi-coloured rust pattern on an ironwork seaside pier (1)

Although man-made iron structures are not themselves natural in the same way as in plants, animals, rocks, fossils and minerals – they are subject to weathering and decomposition processes which are naturally occurring phenomena.

At the seaside, iron constructions like piers are particularly vulnerable to rusting or oxidation because of their exposure to waves and salty sea air. The results of weathering and erosion can be surprisingly colourful with interesting patterns and textures. Most people think of rust as being just orange in colour but, in fact, it can show all the colours of the rainbow. In mineralogy galleries of museums it is possible to see lumps of haematite ore, from which iron is derived, that exhibit an intensely hued iridescence.

Rust colours, patterns and textures: Multi-coloured rust pattern on an ironwork seaside pier (2)

Rust colours, patterns and textures: Multi-coloured rust pattern on an ironwork seaside pier (3)

Rust colours, patterns and textures: Multi-coloured rust pattern on an ironwork seaside pier (4)

Rust colours, patterns and textures: Multi-coloured rust pattern on an ironwork seaside pier (5)

Rust colours, patterns and textures: Multi-coloured rust pattern on an ironwork seaside pier (6)

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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Barnacles on rusty iron

Barnacles growing on the rusty iron of a British seaside pier (1)

Barnacles (and a few limpets) growing on the multi-coloured and highly textured surface of rusty ironwork on a British seaside pier. I like the wide range of rust colours from dark blue to light orange and how they are distributed over the surface in a random way resembling a piece of bright abtract art; and the way that the acorn barnacles have become stained and incorporated into the natural design.

Barnacles growing on the rusty iron of a British seaside pier (2)

Rust-stained barnacles: Barnacles growing on the rusty iron of a British seaside pier (3)

Seashore creatures picture: Barnacles growing on the rusty iron of a British seaside pier (4)

Rusty iron with barnacles: Barnacles growing on the rusty iron of a British seaside pier (5)

British barnacles picture: Barnacles growing on the rusty iron of a British seaside pier (6)

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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Strandlines & flotsam at Chapmans Pool (2)

Chapmans pool flotsam: Knotted rope on the strandline at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (1) 

The shore topography and associated strandlines are different in various locations around Chapmans Pool. In the south east of the bay, the shore is covered in boulders and large cobble-sized stones. This area, extends to the left and the right sides of the boathouses as you look across the ‘pool’. The strandline was indistinct and not continuous on the inner arm of rocky beach but there were some larger items of flotsam scattered on the upper shore. A few single knotted ropes – like the green, blue and orange one illustrated above – were stuck between the rocks.

Chapmans Pool beach boulders: The boulder beach in the southeast corner of Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (2)

The inner arm of the boulder beach had a few isolated larger items of flotsam.

Chapmans Pool strandline flotsam: A tangled mass of multicoloured fishing ropes on the strandline at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (3)

These included the tangled mass of multi-coloured fishing ropes shown above …

Chapmans Pool flotsam: The remains of an old rusty boat engine on the strandline at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (4)

….and this rusty iron boat engine – what’s left of it.

Chapmans Pool strandlines: Single narrow strandline of mostly dried brown seaweed on the outer arm of the boulder beach at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (5)

The outer arm of the boulder beach had a distinct linear strandline comprised mostly of dried brown seaweeds with occasional large masses of dessicating strands of Thongweed. 

Chapmans Pool strandline: A close-up of the strandline on the outer arm of the boulder beach by the boathouses at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (6)

You can see from the picture above that the width of the strandline varied and that small quantities of man-made flotsam were included. Most of the washed up debris would have been cleaned up in April during the Great Dorset Beach Clean. 

Flotsam at Chapmans Pool: Flotsam on the boulder beach strandline at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (7)

This natural selection of flotsam included an aerosol can, polythene bottle and a ubiquitous lost trainer. There was also a cuttlefish ‘bone’ and some red seaweeds.

The rusty iron object below was the only large item of flotsam on the strandline of this part of the beach. I’m not sure what it is but it looks as if it might have something to do with the shipwrecked boat engine on the inner boulder beach.

Rusty iron flotsam object on the outer boulder beach by the boathouses at Chapmans Pool, Dorset, UK - part of the Jurassic Coast (8)

Revision of a post first published 2 July 2009

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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Woodgrain & knots on wreck timbers

Old timbers provide a fascinating array of  textures, patterns and colours. These photographs show some details of the planking on an old boat wreck on the beach. The grain of the wood has opened up with the weathering process. In the knots, the wood has split into radiating segments like the muscles in the iris of an eye. Most of the paint has been abraded by wind-blown sand but a few layered flakes of pale blue and pink colour remain. The brightest colouring results from the corrosion of large iron rivets or nails. The rust has seeped out into the surrounding timber and stained it bright orange and in some places has given it a varnished texture. 

 

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2012

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Boat Houses at Chapmans Pool

Chapmans Pool was a lovely location on the the sunny day in June that I visited. The boat houses were a delightful discovery. I hope you enjoy the following images of them – until you are able to visit and see for yourself. The picture above is looking upwards from the steep slipway to one of the fishermen’s boat houses. The cracks in the concrete and cobbles have been colonised with pink Sea Thrift.

A view of one of the boathouses with its colourful corrugated iron roof.

The black wooden capstan positioned up the hill from the boathouse is for hauling the boat up the slipway from the water.

This picture shows how the boathouses nestle at the base of the very steep and impressive Emmetts Hill which is capped by a dramatic rock escarpment.

In addition to the wooden capstan there is a more conventional rusty iron winch for pulling fishing boats ashore.

This shows the view looking down the slipway across the water to the head of the bay – with an old corroded iron anchor decoratively positioned at the side of the path. 

Lobster pots were stacked up against the leeward stone wall of one of the boathouses.

Thick black plaits of rope were loosely coiled on top of some wooden posts in a concrete channel against another of the boathouses.

A row of rusty iron spools was embedded from top to bottom of the slipway – presumably to guide and ease the keels as boats are hauled up the slipway to the boathouses using cables attached to either the wooden capstan or iron winch higher up the hill.

 

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2012

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