Hopkins Marine Station Student Paper

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(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)

Title: Granite, Basalt and Sandstone: Biomass and Fractal Nature near Monterey, California
Student Author(s): Shaw, Jane
Faculty Advisor(s): Denny, Mark
Pages: 15
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1995
Keywords: Fractal, Biomass, Grnaite, Sandstone, Basalt
Abstract: The utility of fractal geometry as a descriptive tool in the natural sciences has increased as more and more naturally occurrng fractal patterns have emerged. Fractals have been used to describe the shape of plants, the length of coastlines and the porous nature of rocks. This study focueses on determining iif the three rock types--granite, basalt, and sandstone--in the monterey Bay region have a fractal nature and if so, how that nature may affect the standing biomass.
Basalt was found to have a higher fractal dimension than either granite or sandstone on the scale of 10 cm. On the scale of 1 m, both granite and sandstone have a higher fractal dimension than that measured on the 10 cm scale. In the protected site, plant biomass on granite was significantly greter than that on the sandstone. There as no correlation between the fractal dimension of substratum and the animal, plant or total biomass. Fractal dimension did not, in this case, prove to be a useful technique for describing substrata in the rocky intertidal zone.