Rocks to Roots
January 22, 2012
Photographer: Dale Hugo
Summary Author: Dale Hugo; Jim Foster
As shown above, in Tettegouche State Park on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Minnesota, a family of northern white cedars (Thuja occidentalis) is ganging up on a hapless granite boulder. These hardy trees need an extensive root system to handle the heavy snow loads and occasional strong winds that rake the northwestern Lake Superior area. In addition, they're often trampled by tourists during the summer months. Eventually, they and their progeny will break down the boulders and rocky material, reducing it to consolidated soil more inviting to other types of trees. Weathering by root fungi plays a principal role in this slow but sure process. Frost weathering is also important in regions where freeze-thaw cycles are commonplace.
Photo details: Camera Maker: Samsung Techwin; Camera Model: <Samsung D70 / D75 / S730 / S750>; Focal Length: 17.4mm (35mm equivalent: 106mm); Aperture: f/4.9; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 80; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: program (Auto); White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB.