Drone Photo Science Friday - Exploring Natural Marble Caves and Rocks! (plus a bit of art)

in #steemstem3 years ago (edited)

Ah, Marble! You mean so many things to so many people. This post takes us to Patagonia to look at Marble rocks and some cool caves all shot from a drone.
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Original drone photo, looking at a beautiful lake and some cool marble.


Today we are going to look at some original drone photos of marble and talk about marble, the rock, not the toy (hence the #steemstem). There will be a bit of discussion about solution weathering and a number of original photos using technology (i.e. a drone) to show things from a different perspective.

So what is marble?

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No, not this kind of Marble! source

Marble, the kind that formed through metamorphism, i.e. intense temperatures and pressures that change an original substance, generally limestone or dolomite, through recrystalization into interlocking mosaic of calcium carbonate (CaC03) crystals. This mix of chemistry and physics tied up in the science known as geology (here is looking at you #geopolis).

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A nice beautiful view.

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Ah ok, so looking more closely at this marble cliff. Can you see the cave?

Why is this cave parallel with the lake level? Is there a relationship here between the lake itself and the caves formed along the edge of the lake?

You betcha!

The lake itself, the water H20 is assisting with solution weathering of these marble rocks. Marble is resistant with low pore space (Reference 1), in comparasion to other carbonate rocks like travertine (hot springs anyone), or limestone (remember non-metamorphic so more spaces between the crystals that marble that was heated up and has less pore spaces (Figure 1):

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Figure 1: Samples before (on left) and and column on right after a "resistance to salt crystallization test", with from top to bottom (travertine, limestone, and with marble on the bottom). Figure from Reference 1 - Kryza et al., 2009

So basically rain, or in this case the rainwater and snow melt that filled this basin that now has a big lake in it has acid in it. Limestone, is basic, not in that it is simple, but based on it's pH. Thus, add an acid to it, and reactions take place and the rocks start to dissolve - here, in these photos, after hundreds to thousands of years, there was lots of time for the marble to dissolve and thus, we have caves!

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So how did these caves form again? More importantly could we see this view without a drone? No actually!

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Is this zoomed in? No, this is flying closer to the cave. Beautiful!

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So now you know how these cave formed? First the rock formed through high pressure and temperature of limestone creating marble. These these soluble rocks, in this case marble, that dissolved over time based on natural acids found in the lake water, that after time formed these cool caves. #drones made these really cool photos I took possible and made some of the concepts discussed above seem a bit more easy to, pardon the pun, digest. The science test the researchers undertook provides some interesting insight into the durability of these rocks and gives insight as to how long these caves have been forming here in beautiful Patagonia.

I hope you enjoyed this post, this is my first full-on #steemstem post in awhile - feel free to yak about this below.

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(Thanks to @shasta for this cool yak meme)


  1. Kryza et al., 2009, Acidic weathering of carbonate building stones: experimental assessment (preliminary results)

Want to learn a bit more about marble - check this out.

Original drone photos and educational post by @snowyknight.

Feel free to follow and upvote if you learned something or if you enjoyed my original photos.

I am a big fan of #steemstem (@steemstem) and #geopolis (@geopolis). Feel free to check them out if you like geosciences or even bigger picture science like astrophysics (think, the Universe).

I also really like @utopian-io and #utopian-io and @curie and #curie and vote for both of them as my witness because they are awesome!

Here is a song about dissolving (keeping it on track with the topic in this post) to keep this all on track by a great band ∆

And some final #art to keep us all smiling:
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Pink Marble drone photos rock!!!!!


Had this sitting up while making some grub
and thought I'd hit reload, when to my eyes
appears a wonderful blue and purple photo
with a very dark cave! Wow very nice my
favorite colours! Must of been thrilling to
be down in Patagonia! Awesome drone shots!

I came here to Yak with @snowyknight 💎 about
Geology! Rocks, stones and mighty mountains!
Seen a video the other day on the worlds largest
cave, yeow on the forces of time, the waters and
winds, the fineness of sands.
Wore down and rebuilt, time after time.

Love the music you posted here and the same on
one of your last posts, totally enjoyed!
Got to see a lot of limestone in southern Germany
years ago. Fossils and crystals abounded, to many
for sacks, needed trucks lol

I got a couple of those marbles like those you
show above, I haven't lost them all yet ;-)

Thanks for stopping by @shasta! Glad that the final bit of art on this science heavy post was well received!

Always fun to yak, always a good time!

Glad you enjoyed the music too! Trying to keep everything, as much as possible tied up together... hahaha.

Limestone in south Germany sounds like a cool thing to put on my list... someday.

Until then, keep track of those marbles and keep #yaking!

Your post has been read and you did great! You received a 40.0% upvote from us for your post with the geology tag since you are a member of the geopolis community.
Keep on writing and stay curious!

Thanks @geopolis! Appreciate the review and for stopping by! Keep doing great work and hope to see you again soon!

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