Coming across one of these is a beach-comber’s dream! These small debris fields are usually composed of small bark chips, shells, large tubeworm casings, hermit crabs, algae, kelp, and sometimes even skate egg casings! They usually occur because of a local
An upwelling is an oceanographic
phenomenon that involves wind-driven motion of denser, cooler, and usually nutrient-rich
water towards the ocean surface, replacing the warmer, usually nutrient-depleted surface
This juggling of water from the bottom of the ocean to the surface often lifts debris sitting on the seafloor into the water column. As the tide comes in, the debris is cast onto shore. At the Seaside Aquarium, we fondly refer to these events as ‘Ocean Burps’.