The Unique Stone in Coast
The beach at north coast of Lieyu from Butou to Huangli is full of red hive-like stones. These are pieces of iron-containing cementated rock, which local people call it Maogongshi. In this 1 km beach, Maogong shi is spreaded throughout the intertidal area. These rocks are in different shapes and sizes. Usually they are from under 1 metres to several metres in pieces, but there are also ones of several hundred metres square lying on the beach. The colours of these stones are from red-brown to brown in various shape, making it a rare scene.
Near inland of these cementated stones, the upper layer is Red Layer while the lower layer is semi-stablized clay sand rock layer. The formation of these iron-containing cementated stones are the constant weathering, dissolving and erosion by sea water to the sendimentary layer. The hydrophillic substances, such as potassium and sodium are dissolved and withdrawn. On the other hand, the hydrophobic mixture of silicon, aluminum, iron, and calcium groups with sands and mud, forming a rigid hive-like stone. By continuous dissolving of sea water, shape of these stone change over time gradually. The major component of Maogongshi are quartzite, hematite,
, and few clay.
Maogongshi is only formed between the lines of
high tide and low tide. Below the low tide line, the clay and sand rocks are softer as they are still immersed in sea water. The formation of Maogongshi have other elements that are not mentioned previously. Its formation is also related to the cycle of dryness and wetness of intertidal area. In addition, there are various distribution of reef in northern coast of Lieyu. The seascape here is tremandously beautiful and is a wonderful scenic spot.
Quartzite pieces mixed in Maogongshi