Geography: Part 2

The Geomorphology of Bimini Road

Bimini Road, located near the Bahamas, is a half mile long linear rock formation found underwater. It is made up of semi-rectangular limestone blocks, found near North Bimini Island. When it was discovered, many theorized that this may have been the road to Atlantis, an island said to have sunken under the Atlantic Ocean in ancient times.

bimini-road01

Geomorphology is the study of how and why the surface of the Earth changes. This includes the study of the effects of weathering and erosion on rock formations.

Weathering is the actual decaying of rock formations,

and erosion is the movement of its debris.

Sedimentary rocks are formed from this debris. Limestone is sedimentary rock, often formed by this eroded material from other rocks, sand, and desomposing marine organisms cemented together through chemical processes.

There are two main processes by which weathering can occur: physical and chemical.

Physical weathering is the disintegration of rocks by frost or salt weathering, pressure release, thermal expansion and contraction, or other mechanical processes.

Chemical weathering refers to the chemical alteration or disintegration of rock, which is the most probable explanation for the shape of rocks of Bimini Road and its linear formation.

 

The limestone rocks of Bimini Road are likely formed through chemical dissolution.

Causing something called spheriodal weathering, where a mineral is dissolved in water by chemical reaction.

 

1. Carbonic acid is formed:carbonicacid

2. Limestone is dissolved: dissolution

 

The most common form of dissolution is limestone dissolution. The limestone blocks of Bimini Road are referred to as beach rock, which form as a result of a chemical reaction that occurs when carbonic acid (granite sand) is dissolved in solution.

Joints, or weaknesses, in the rock structure allow for weathering to take place. The rocks fracture and separate, and what is left behind are called core stones. As the granite sand gets eroded away, tors (or stacks of core stones) are formed.

Our hypothesis is that chemical weathering is the best explanation for the mysterious staked stones of Bimini Road.

TorsDiagram