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  • Writer's pictureRachael Prime

Exploring Local Marvels: Witnessing the Mersey River’s Bore Wave

As part of my "Exploring the Familiar" project, I made an early decision to witness a significant natural phenomenon that had had yet to witness.

Given its status as an estuary, the Mersey River continually undergoes tidal fluctuations, with waters ebbing and flowing across the salt marshes of both Runcorn and Widnes banks. This dynamic environment provides a unique habitat for plant and animal life to flourish. During periods when tides are forecasted to exceed 10 meters at Liverpool, a Bore Wave emerges, visible within a short walk from my studio and home.

Last year, seizing the opportunity to witness this phenomenon firsthand, Claire Pitt and I patiently awaited the arrival of the last anticipated wave of 2023. Despite windy conditions, the weather remained stunning as we were joined by another resident who routinely observed the wave during his morning dog walk.

While I understood that the event might not rival the grandeur of other waves seen around the UK, the sudden transformation in the water's behaviour was truly remarkable—an experience not readily available to everyone, within their home town.

I'm already planning to carve out time to witness it again in 2024, eager to reencounter this unique spectacle, thinking of ways it could be documented.




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