rocks

Sycamores and Hillslopes

Below are some recent photographs of sycamore trees (Platanus occidentalis) in limestone bedrock at Herrington Lake, Kentucky (about37.78o N, 84.71o W). As you can see, the tree roots and trunks exploit joints in the rock, and accelerate weathering both by physically displacing limestone slabs and widening joints by root growth, and by facilitating biochemical weathering along both live and dead roots.

Sycamores rock

These are some nice examples of root/bedrock interaction, and the general phenomena are not uncommon, though usually much more difficult to see. The Herrington Lake shores also appear to illustrate a process by which the sycamores accelerate weathering and mass movements (other trees are also involved, but Platanus occidentalis seems to be the most common and effective):

1. Plants colonize the exposed bedrock, with roots exploiting bedrock joints.

2. Tree roots accelerate weathering and loosen joint blocks.

3. While the tree is still alive, root growth envelopes rock fragments and the trees provide a physical barrier to downslope transport.

New Faculty 2013: Meet Michael McGlue

The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences is excited to welcome Assistant Professor Michael McGlue to its faculty!
 
McGlue's research background rests in both stratigraphy—or the study of rock layers and layering—and Earth history. In both cases, McGlue aims to answer questions related to environmental change and energy resources. In the decade that McGlue has spent studying these issues, his research has carried him around the world and he has plans to carry it even further here at UK.
 
This podcast is part of a series highlighting the new faculty members who joined the College of Arts and Sciences in the fall 2013 semester.
 

Produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

What's New in Science, Dave Moecher - Fault Behavior and Complexities

What's New in Science University of Kentucky Dave Moecher

Part 2 of 4: Fault Behavior and Complexities This section discusses the approaches for understanding faulting and generation of earthquakes. Understanding faulting and earthquake generation is basic first semester physics, in particular understanding forces and friction, elastic behavior of crust and propagation of waves through matter. Understanding earthquakes also requires geologic examination of ancient faults and fault rocks that are now exposed at Earth’s surface.

Links: iris.edu/servlet/eventserver/map.do youtube.com/watch?v=hZIzq-GFNtM&feature=youtu.be youtube.com/watch?v=AontqlzLg8I earthscope.org/samples/load_viewer

Subscribe to RSS - rocks
X
Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected

Loading