Water Beading on Aspen Leaf

August 21, 2006

Leaf copy

Provided by: Heather Renyck, White Mountains Regional High School
Summary author: Heather Renyck

While walking in northern New Hampshire, a friend pointed to a wet leaf on the ground. We both found it intriguing enough to photograph. Due to the high surface tension of water and the impermeability of the leaf’s waxy surface, water took the form of beads on this leaf. Hydrogen bonding is responsible for the surface tension of water. Notice also the mineral grains that can be seen in some of the drops. The sands in this part of New Hampshire come from the lovely Conway Granite -- a pink, medium-grained sub-alkaline, biotite granite. It's likely that this leaf is from a quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) and is approximately 3 in (8 cm) in length.

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