Art & Design / 20 March, 2012
Lichens | Art growing on the rocks
Due to its volcanic nature Iceland is a paradise for certain lichens, the pioneers of recently exposed rock surfaces. Both the red and white lichens in this image belong to the same species typical of Arctic regions, Porpidia flaco caruluscens. The red colour is caused through the absorption of salts from iron rich igneous rocks such as diorite. The yellow colouring indicates the existence of Rhizocarpon macrosporum that is used in a process known as lichenometry whereby it is possible to establish the length of time the rock has been exposed at the surface by measuring the diameter of lichen growth.