The Doom Bar is a sandbar at the mouth of the Camel Estuary on the north coast of Cornwall, England. It is composed mainly of marine sand that is continually being carried up from the seabed. An estimated 10 million tons of sand or more has been removed from the estuary since the early nineteenth century, mainly by dredging. A Cornish folklore legend relates that a mermaid created the bar as a dying curse on the harbour after she was shot by a local man.
About Doom Bar in brief
The Doom Bar is a sandbar at the mouth of the Camel estuary on the north coast of Cornwall, England. It is composed mainly of marine sand that is continually being carried up from the seabed. More than 60 percent of the sand is derived from marine shells, making it an important source of agricultural lime, which has been collected for hundreds of years. An estimated 10 million tons of sand or more has been removed from the estuary since the early nineteenth century, mainly by dredging. A Cornish folklore legend relates that a mermaid created the bar as a dying curse on the harbour after she was shot by a local man. The Doom Bar has been used in poetry to symbolise feelings of melancholy, and has given its name to the flagship ale from the local Sharp’s Brewery. There is submerged forest beneath the eastern part of the Doom Bar, off Daymer Bay, believed to be part of a wooded plain that existed before it was overcome by sand dunes. According to tradition, the sandbar formed in the reign of Henry VIII, damaging the prosperity of the port of Padstow a mile up theEstuary. The sands of the area have always been prone to sudden shifts during storms, and several houses were said to have been buried one night during a powerful storm in one such night in the 15th century. The estuary mouth, exposed to the Atlantic Ocean, is a highly dynamic environment, and the sands have beenprone to dramatic shifts during stormy weather.
The last significant rise in sea-level, which ended around 4,000 years ago, ended with the end of the last significant sea level rise in Cornwall, which was in the 17th century and 18th century, in the form of the Dingle Peninsula, which is on the south coast of the island of Dingle Bay. The sandbars have been used to improve agricultural soil by liming since at least the 1500s, and have been dredged regularly since 1836. In 2009 an estimated 120,000 tonnes of sand and the surrounding estuary were removed from the bar and surrounding area, and it is still regularly dredged from the area. There are three persistent sandbars in the Camel Estuary: the doom bar, the Town Bar and the Halwyn Bank. All three are of similar composition; a large proportion of their sediment is derived. from marine mollusc shells, and as a consequence it includes a high level of calcium carbonate, measured in 1982 at 62 per cent. Most of the River Camel’s sediment is deposited much higher up the Estuary, and most of the river’s. sediment is from much further upstream, where the river changes direction. The bar is composed mostly of coarse sediment carried up by bed load processes. It has been shown that there is a net inflow of sediment into the estuary. This inflow is aided by wave and tidal processes, but the exact patterns of sediment transport are complex and are not fully understood.