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Biotic weathering

Biotic weathering as growing tree splits rock apart, Austwick, Yorkshire Dales national park, England,UK – Image ID: EX06EY

I have pictures of this same tree on film from my first visit in the early 2000s. I went back and found it again – a rowan or mountain ash – in 2015. Images from both visits have been licensed fairly frequently. As you can see there aren’t many trees growing here and it wasn’t too difficult to find the same spot a decade or so later.

The natural joint in the the carboniferous limestone ( called a gryke) offered a sheltered environment for the seedling to grow. Over many years as it has matured into a tree the rock has been split apart and the crack gradually widened. The image is popular because it is a clear illustration of biotic weathering – how rocks are broken up by plants and other forms of biological life.

The intention in taking these pictures was for them to be educational – and that is what the licences show. The most recent one:

Country: Ireland
Usage: Educational book, editorial print + digital use, inside, one time use only
Industry sector: Media, design & publishing
Start: 21 February 2023
End: 21 February 2033

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