Queen of Excelsior Caustic Network

September 21, 2009


Photographer: Dale L. Hugo
Summary Author: Dale L. Hugo

The photo above showing a fascinating caustic network on the bow of a boat was taken on Lake Minnetonka, at Excelsior, Minnesota. When the water's surface acts like a lens, alternatively focusing and defocusing light, it’s possible to observe caustic displays such as the one featured above. Regions roughly in focus appear rather bright, while those regions out of focus appear much darker. You’re most likely to notice caustic networks if the depth of the water is approximately five times the crest-to-crest wave distance – more typical of relatively calm and shallow water bodies, either man-made or natural. Minnesota is nicknamed the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” and Lake Minnetonka is one of the best known lakes in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolis. Photo taken in the summer of 2007.