LaSerena beaches are a couple of kilometers from the city and cover a long golden shore. The very rough water is not suitable for swimming

Laserena Coquimbo Chile South America Sand Grains Magnified Under Microscope SliderLaserena Coquimbo Chile South America Sand Grains Magnified Under Microscope Slider Magnified

This high and low magnified mixture of white and tan marine shell fragments and gray and black intrusive igneous rock show the terrestrial and marine components of a LaSerena coastal beach. The larger white and tan sand grains represent smoothly worn shell fragments. The large light tan grain with some pink coloration at its right edge located to the immediate right of center is possibly a smoothly worn barnacle fragment. These sand grains have smooth to rounded edges after being worn down by extended periods of wave action.

Geographic Overview

  • Laserena Coquimbo Chile South America Sand Geography 1
  • Laserena Coquimbo Chile South America Sand Geography 2
  • Laserena Coquimbo Chile South America Sand Geography 3
  • Laserena Coquimbo Chile South America Sand Geography 4

LaSerena is second largest city in Chile, a long and narrow country on Pacific coast with an average of 112 miles wide, lies on a marine terrace overlooking the Bay of Coquimbo. Beaches lie along a long golden shoreline and are a popular tourist destination, especially in January and February. A well-known landmark of LaSerena is the large white and red lighthouse (built between 1950 & 1951); the beach stretches far north and south of the lighthouse.

La Serena Sand Map
Sand Location

See where this sand sample was collected on Google Maps.

Earth South America 2
Virtual Sand Tour

Explore an interactive map of LaSerena beach on Google Earth.

A mixture of larger and smaller marine shell fragments and grains of terrestrial origin can be seen here. The slightly elongated smooth light pink sand grain in the left center is likely shell fragment too worn to specifically identify. The large white angular grain near the bottom center is a mollusk fragment with less wear than the well-worn white grains at the left middle and lower edge.
In this mixture of terrestrial and marine sand grains the white and off-white grains have more smoothly worn edges than the harder porphyritic gray-black grains. An elongated white grain at 11 o’clock with two openings on its lower edge is likely a barnacle fragment. A light brown smoothly worn mollusk shell fragment is present at 4 o’clock.
This mixture of marine and terrestrial sand grains reflects the diverse component of sand on the LaSerena beach. The large white shell fragment in the center is a fragment of a mollusk shell with grooves along its bottom border. Gray sand grains with black inclusions are of terrestrial origin with black phenocryst inclusions within porphyritic rock. A transparent silica sand grain is present at the upper right of center.
This high magnification view shows a subtle concentric pattern of the large white and light tan shell fragment at the left edge and a light pink translucent fragment in the left center with subtle parallel grooves of a mollusk shell grain. Other white and light tan grains are shell fragments and the darker grains are of terrestrial origin.