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Tafoni

A cache by tomduck Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 06/30/2010
Difficulty:
2.5 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Version 1.2 (03.12.2012): New email adress to send answers to.

What are Tafoni?
Tafoni are natural rock cavities produced by cavernous weathering in rocks and boulders. The origin of the word "Tafoni" is not clear, its roots may be found in the Corsican word taffoni meaning "windows", or tafonare meaning "to perforate".

Tafoni can be found in many locations in different climatic regimes around the world: temperate, humid, hot and arid, and frigid and arid regions, as well as at a range of elevations from sea level to more than 2,200 meters above sea level (and even on Mars, Tafoni have been discovered!). In arid areas, they can be usually found in granular or crystalline rocks such as sandstones or granites.

Tafoni usually occur in groups. The size of single openings range from only a few millimeters to several meters. The shape of the openings tends to be ellipsoidal with the major axis of elongation about parallel to the ground.

Origin
The origin of tafoni is not really understood. The current opinion is that they result from weathering initiated along lines of weakness in the rocks, such as joints and fractures, where water can reside. The hollows are thought to be enlarged by progressive flaking of the interior surfaces and their granular disintegration, probably as a result of crystallization of saline material dissolved from the rock, carried to the rock by wind, or splashed on the rock by sea water. Case hardening of the outer surfaces is common, but the walls separating the cavities are not altered. Wind probably removes loosened material from the cavities. (Description of the origin section taken from here)

The Cache
Starting at N42 33.091' E8 44.238' you will come across a lot of Tafoni on the way to the Le Roi Lion.
A very big Tafoni with a heart-shaped opening can be found close to the header coordinates.

In order to log this Earthcache, please send me the answers to the first three questions to gc.tafoni@gmail.com before you log the cache. Please also write your geocaching name in your mail - sometimes it can be hard to figure which real life name belongs to a certain geocaching name. Logs without a corresponding email will be deleted without exceptions. Please send your answers to the given mail address and do not use the geocaching messenger!
  1. Estimate (or measure) the extent (length, width and height) of the whole rock.
  2. Estimate (or measure) the extent (length, width and height) of the "heart" in the rock.
  3. Given a density of 2800 kg/m³, estimate the weight of the rock and the missing part (simply multiply the volume with the density).
  4. Upload a picture of you in front of any Tafoni in that area and post the coordinates (optional).
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