Cliff face with exposed rhizoliths

Cliff face with exposed rhizoliths

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Exposed cliff face at Blairgowrie, Nepean Peninsula, Victoria Australia. The picture shows the presence of the petrified remains of the roots of plants that formerly grew above the clifftop, The material of the cliff is a calcareous fossiliferous sandstone, calcarenite. It is subject to weathering by wind from the Bass Strait. Petrification occurs when minerals impregnate and eventually replace organic matter in the original plant material, and is an example of rhizolith formation. Rhizolith means "root stone". The rock of which the cliff in this picture is comprised is part of the Bridgewater Formation. The height of the frame represents approximately 40cm.

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Keywords: australia, blairgowrie, bridgewater formation, calcarenite, calcareous sandstone, nepean peninsula, petrification, rhizolith, rock

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