Boring Clams Lend an Otherworldly Appearance to a Miocene Shelf

An alluvial miocene formation shaped by changing sea levels, wave action, and boring clams has an otherworldly appearance.


The seaward part of the headland, in the foreground, is Angora Peak sandstone. Composed of well-cemented particles, this resistant shelf once hosted a multitude of boring clams. You can still see shells in some of the the holes. The vertical cliff in the center background is basalt from an ancient lava flow.

Remnant boring clam shell in miocene sandstone

I can’t help wondering if the remnant shells are modern, or traces of a past form.


Alan R. Niem. 1975. GEOLOGY OF HUG POINT STATE PARK NORTHERN OREGON COAST. The Ore Bin, State of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Vol. 37, No.2: 17-36.

Out of This World