Soapy rocks

04/16/2017

Have you ever wondered why rocks are grippy in the winter and early spring, but really slippery in the summer (humid rocks are the worst) and fall? It’s not just about rain because the spring is pretty darn wet isn’t it and the rocks aren’t nearly as slippery as summer – What gives!

It seems to me the type of rock in the AF is primarily limestone and dolomite (the latter forms the “umbrella” of the Niagara escarpment). This is one piece of the puzzle, but first a geology lesson!

According to most geologists the much of rock you find in the AF is bioclastic and began forming approximately about 450 Million years ago at the bottom of a then tropical sea out of deposits of shells/poop of millions of critters. This carbonate rock is what the nearby quarry mines and you’ll find it in use all around our society as concrete, mortar and cement.

So we have moisture (rain + humidity) and limestone, but that won’t be too slippery, so what is the third factor – Well, it’s living stuff like algae and moss.

Read on:

So there you go, combine these three factors in a damp and humid environment and slowly you get soapy rocks.

Leave a Reply