tufa formations

9

The Frozen Waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes by Tóth Tamás

In the words of the artist Tóth Tamás:

I recently went on a short, spontaneous photography trip. Three of my friends and I departed our hometown of Budapest and headed for one of Croatia’s largest National Parks surrounding the Plitvice Lakes.The total area of the National Park is 295 km2, and the surface area of the lakes is 2 km2. There are sixteen lakes positioned in a North - South direction, stretching out in a garland shape, situated in the Kapela Mountains. Over millions of years, the Korana Creek has carved a deep valley into the Southern, limestone areas of the mountain, strongly characterized by karst processes.

The formation of the Plitvice Lakes was also the result of these transformations. The limestone creates dykes, sills and other structures in the karst rivers and streams. (Contrary to typical hot water formations, limestone tufa precipitates out of cold water here). The lakes’ extreme blue color is the result of this karst occurrence.Limestone formation is a continuous process by which various waterfalls are formed. Over time, the water changes its bed, leaving its former direction dry, and in turn raising new formations elsewhere. We could say, Plitvice is never the same as before.

We practically hiked the entire area struggling with the cold and half a meter of snow. A few of my photos from the tour below.

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5

#mypubliclandsroadtrip watches the sun set at the Trona Pinnacles, one of the most unusual geologic wonders in the California Desert. 

This landscape consists of more than 500 tufa (calcium carbonate) pinnacles rising from the bed of the Searles Dry Lake basin. These tufa spires were formed underwater, 10,000 to 100,000 years ago, when Searles Lake established a link in an interconnected chain of Pleistocene lakes stretching from Mono Lake to Death Valley. 

Did you know? Geologically the pinnacles are classified into four general shapes - towers, tombstones, ridges and cones.

  • Towers are taller than they are wide and rise 30 to 40 feet.  Look for pointed, rounded or flat summits. 
  • Tombstones are stubby and squat and rise 20 to 30 feet.
  • Ridges are massive, toothy and tufa runs.  Trona Pinnacles has three ridges.  One ridge is 800 feet long, 500 feet wide and 140 feet tall.
  • Cones are less than 10 feet tall. Dumpy and mounded cone shapes lay scattered throughout the Trona Pinnacles

The Trona Pinnacles were designated by the Department of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark in 1968 to protect one of the nation’s best examples of tufa formation. Explore #yourlands!