Tafoni Weathering in West Virginia

March 28, 2023


Tafoni weathering (1)

Photographer: James J. Van Gundy  
Summary Author: James J. Van Gundy  

Featured above is a type of honeycomb-like weathering called tafoni that was observed on a sandstone outcrop along the Little Kanawha River, at Falls Mills, West Virginia. Tafoni are sub-spherical pockets that have been excavated by the prying forces of crystalizing salts or ice upon a rock face. The pockets are typically a few centimeters in diameter but may be either smaller or larger in certain circumstances. This kind of weathering is most often found associated with porous rocks such as sandstones or tuffs but may also sometimes be found on coarse granular rocks such as granites. Because of the role of salts in their formation, tafoni are most frequently found on rocky coastlines or in arid lands. Note that the largest cavities shown here are estimated to be several inches (5-10 cm) in diameter.


Little Kanawha River at Falls Mills (Braxton County), West Virginia Coordinates: 38.77450 -80.55079

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