Imaggeo on Mondays: The broken heart

The broken heart by Natalia Rudaya, distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

We humans have a tendency to see familiar shapes in things such as animals in clouds, faces on Mars, and even food in rocks. The photographer, Natalia Rudaya saw a broken heart in a curious Taiwanese rock, the centrepiece of the beautiful photograph we are featuring this week.

Aside from its interesting shape, the Broken Heart rock has strange dents, which tell of its geological history. These forms are the result of differential erosion caused by so-called honeycomb weathering, a type of weathering that affects rocks in environments with high level of salinity making their surfaces look like a honeycomb.

The picture was taken in Yehliu Cape, Northern Taiwan in 2010, when Natalia (now at the Institute of Archaeology & Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk) was working at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan as a guest scientist. “In my last weekend there, I visited one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen – the Yehliu Cape. It has unique moon-like landscapes sculpted by the ocean and the wind,” says Natalia.

The most famous rock sculpture in Yehliu is the Queen’s Head, which has a shape resembling the profile of Queen Elizabeth II.

Imaggeo is the online open access geosciences image repository of the European Geosciences Union. Every geoscientist who is an amateur photographer (but also other people) can submit their images to this repository. Being open access, it can be used by scientists for their presentations or publications as well as by the press. If you submit your images to imaggeo, you retain full rights of use, since they are licenced and distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons licence.

Bárbara Ferreira was the Media and Communications Manager of the European Geosciences Union from 2011 to 2019. Bárbara has also worked as a science writer specialising in astrophysics and space sciences, producing articles for the European Space Agency and others on a freelance basis. She has a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>