Complex ripples in sand like those in the picture can be created by water or wind, with the biggest, wind-driven ones potentially becoming huge sand dunes. The size and pattern is determined by the speed of the water that creates them, and the size and frequency of the waves. Geologists and climatologists have recently begun using fossilised sand ripples to get a better understanding of ancient water flows, how the Earth has changed over time, and how the sea reacts to climate change.
Barkby Beach is in the north-west of Wales, not very far (as the seagull flies) from Liverpool. It's on the route of the Wales Coast Path as it passes Prestatyn. It's a big beach - there's a large difference between low and high tide - and it's backed by some dunes with campsites and hidden picnic areas, so perfect for days out.
The image was taken in 2015, and submitted to the Geograph Project. It is copyright Jeff Buck and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence.
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