The Stone Door

August 17, 2017

Stone Door_30867385245_e302a4b64f_o (1)

Photographer: Chuck Sutherland
Summary Author: Chuck Sutherland

We're all on a long trip to the ocean. So are rocks. It may not seem exactly right, but rocks flow downhill under the same forces as water. The difference being that gravity must overcome the hardness of the rock, a gradient must be available for the rock to move down and their structure is sometimes able to prevent downward motion. Water shares some of these encumbrances but to much lesser degrees.

Shown above is the Stone Door, an artifact of flow found on the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Tennessee. More accurately, it's referred to as a joint, a place where pressure inside the rock is relieved by breaking. In this case, part of a cliff was sliding downslope, and the Stone Door was its relief point. Joints on the Cumberland Plateau often form in cliffs parallel to the cliff face. The Stone Door, while a fascinating feature, is not alone. There are dozens if not hundreds of similar features along the rim of the Plateau. Photo taken on October 2, 2016. 

Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS M; Lens: EF-S10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM; Focal Length: 10mm; Focus Distance: 1.08m; Aperture: ƒ/4.5; Exposure Time: 0.077 s (1/13); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows.