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Three Worlds

Three Worlds

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Published by John
Published on Earth Science Picture of the Day on 8/1/06
Published on Earth Science Picture of the Day on 8/1/06

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: John on Feb 10, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Three worlds
This intriguing shot was taken from the edge of Lake Louise, in Banff National Park, Alberta, inmid May 2006. I call it “Three worlds” because it reminded me of the drawing of the same name by the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher (1898-1972). The ice on the lake was in the process of melting, and the still water surface in the foreground reflected one of the mountains at the far endof the lake, yet the water was clear enough to see the rocks and boulders on the bottom of thelake very clearly. Not apparent in this picture is the turquoise color of Lake Louise (and many of the other lakes in Banff National Park), caused by so-called rock flour or glacial run-off insuspension in the water. It consists of clay-sized particles of rock, generated here by glacialerosion. Because the rock flour is very small, it's suspended in river water making the water appear cloudy. If the river flows into a glacial lake, the lake may appear turquoise in color as aresult. Rock flour is also produced by freeze thaw, where the act of water freezing and expandingin cracks helps break up rock formations.

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