A sand formation described as “extremely rare” was spotted recently at Cape Kiwanda on the Oregon coast.
Take a look at the video above, provided to Central Oregon Daily News by Pilar French. It looks like someone dragged a giant rake through the mound, creating straight grooves.
But those grooves, it turns out, are formed naturally.
Scott Burns, a professor emeritus in geology at Portland State University, told KGW-TV that he’d never seen anything like it before, either in this region or in textbooks.
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The technical term for the strange formation is called “linear earth flow,” Burns reportedly said. It describes the movement of sediment down a slope.
But Burns reportedly says it’s rarely this picturesque. It’s also rare to observe something like this because, well, it’s sand. So it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time in order to see it.
Burns hypothesizes to KGW that rainwater remained near the surface of a sand dune. It saturated the earth near the top and caused sand to flow down in those grooves.
You can see an example of this in the video as sand slides down those grooves.
This comes about two months after a sinkhole, 20-feet wide and 15-feet deep, formed at Cape Kiwanda.