Whitehaven

Ben de Putron

Sydney, Australia

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Artist's Description

Whitehaven Beach is located in the Whitsunday Islands and is almost 6km long and consists of a very fine dazzling white sand.
The name Whitehaven Bay was given in 1879 by Staff Commander E.P. Bedwell, RN, The sand is minute powder-size grains of quartz and has been assayed at 99.89% pure, well above the minimum requirement for glass-making and suitable for the finest glass for optical lenses for binoculars etc. Its origin is not known definitely but geologists say it does not have a local origin as rocks of the Whitsunday area are quartz-poor. They think the most likely explanation is that it is the result of a longshore drift system which brings sand from the south along the Queensland coast, very evident in the Gold Coast/Fraser Island area. The Whitehaven sand is so pure it indicates that during the drift all heavy mineral sands and other impurities have been winnowed out leaving the quartz sand.
Whitehaven Beach is now a World Heritage Listed site.

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