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Diagramming the hydrology and geology of a stream with stone and glass.

LOTIC MEANDER

Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Canada

2006

Polished and blasted granite, cast glass

300 feet long  x 4 feet wide

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Lotic refers to moving water. Lotic Meander depicts the patterns of water as it moves through a streambed. The resulting meandering form is based on several local streams. The scroll-like patterns clarify the hydrological movement of water as it swirls in vortices around the stream’s bends. Glass stones are set into the shoals of deposition where gravel and stones would collect on the inside of the curve due to the slower current. Large stone domes, like boulders along the stream reflect the sky and surrounding museum.

The terrace in the Science Centre becomes a dry stream diagram.

Cast glass stones create point bars: the areas of deposition along the inner curve of the meander where the water slows down and deposits its sediment. The water on the outside curves of a stream would be more turbulent, as shown by the spiraling patterns in the stone.

The pattern is on polished granite while the background is blasted away. The calligraphic swirls reflect the sky while the rough background makes a grippy surface for foot traffic.

Visitors can walk the dry stream bed and sit on the boulders. The sense of flow is apparent in the wet and dry weather.

Glass insets set into the stairs refer to bubbles at the headwaters of the stream.