Driftwood Following Intense Storm on Lake Superior's North Shore

August 29, 2012


: Dale Hugo
Summary Author: Dale Hugo; Jim Foster

An intense rainstorm inundated parts of northeastern Minnesota, including Duluth and the north shore of Lake Superior, earlier this summer (on June 21) with over 10 in (25 cm) of rain. The flooding was so severe that Duluthians now refer to this deluge as the "Solstice Storm". Whole trees that were washed out into the lake now show up on the shore as driftwood. Most of the driftwood is pine, birch and white cedar -- the predominant tree species along the north shore. Some trees floated almost upright for days as their root-balls were laden with clay and rocks. At top right, it appears that piles of driftwood have been stacked perhaps in preparation for a beach bonfire. Note the debris line along the shore. The Great Lakes don't really experience tidal variations but water levels often rise and fall (a foot or so) with changes in barometric pressure. This phenomenon is called a seiche. Photo taken in mid August 2012.

Photo details: Camera Maker: Apple; Camera Model: iPad 2; Focal Length: 3.85mm; Aperture: f/2.4; Exposure Time: 0.0044 s (1/228); ISO equiv: 64; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: program (Auto); White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (No Flash available);Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows.