Friday, July 3, 2009

Xiao Gui Lin: They will see us waving from Such Great Heights.

Hellohello!!! sorry i havent been updating for so long, was busy with NUS arts camp ((:

anyways, the geog nut is back! and what better way to start my comeback on my favourite topic: Granite Landforms! so today i went for a walk with Jiayi around Little Guilin Park in Bukit Gombak, and we saw some interesting sights:

#1 some kids from the nearby primary school fishing at the quarry lake - really great way for kids to spend time instead of playing computer games!

#2 i know i know.. THE PICTURE DOESNT DO THE REAL THING JUSTICE. i havent been to little guilin since i was 3. and when i was 3, i knew nothing about granite. BUT THIS REALLY BLEW ME AWAY. (more abt it later)


I should really give you some background info on Little Guilin before i launch into the whole adventure proper.

Little Guilin is really an old, abandoned Granite quarry right smack in the middle of a HDB town. overtime, as rain water accumulates in the quarry, it forms a lake. It received its name "little guilin"as it is supposed to resemble the authentic Gui Lin in China. i reckon what we have is a really FAR FAR cry from the orignial:
(source: http://www.healthyfellow.com/)

However, the irony is this-the Gui Lin in Guang Xi, China is a Limestone karst formation, while Little Guilin in Bukit Batok is a Granite landform (and also man-made). so honestly, there is NO WAY they can look alike... in terms of shape and the markings on them HAHAHAA.
This once again shows how ignorant our planners can be sometimes.
anyways jiayi and i were bored, so i started bombarding her with some... highly INTERESTING knowledge on the gigantic slabs of granite hills around us:
#1
Do you see the 'lines' on the granite? they all seem to be slanting in one particular direction - towards the water. These are known as Seaward-dipping joints. Joints are really lines of weaknesses in a rock, in which weathering agents such as water can enter and attack the rock from. The direction that they are dipping makes this hill a rather stable one.

#2
Most people probably wouldnt notice this but this is a real god-to-honest landslide. in fact i think i can even classify it as a Rotational Slump - in all the soil and mud and stuff slide down the slope along a curved surface.
#3


This is actually quite scary! HAHAHAH see the big crack? it is possible that the rock may just slide off, thus resulting in another form of mass movement - Rock Fall. Thus, there is a need for this super cool sign:

hahaha never thought i would ever see this in Singapore. anyways, we decided to be adventurous and climb up one of the granite hills (i really dont like to call them "hills" but if i call them "intrusions" its really a little awkward).

The Journey to the TOP!:

Try and spot me in this second picture:


The view from the top:

When i said the TOP i really meant the TOP, like at the very edge:


Jiayi even had some heart to meditate. it was really peaceful up there, for once i forgot about the traffic, the MRT, the noisy coffee shops... it was just the wind. Thats my happy place!
HOWEVER, the beauty was marred by some RUBBISH and GRAFFITTI:


why would people climb all the way up and dump their rubbish there is really completely beyond me. is it really that hard to bring the rubbish down with you?!?!?!?! and the graffitti.. i r (okay i got too pissed off so i decide to shut up and move on).

we later came to a place with smaller, weathered granite blocks, equally cool:

The rocks are orginally part of a greater granite hill, not unlike the one we climbed. however, over the years, the rain and the sun has gradually reduced it to large granite boulders. The rounded sides of some of the boulders also hint that chemical weathering took place.

This brings us to the next question "how come plants can grow on rocks ah?":



This is because as the rocks are weathered at the joints (remember the lines of weaknesses), the resultant materials are known as Regolith or simply SOIL. thus, the SOIL you see are really weathered rocks. Hence, some soil are found in between the joints and thus, plants are able to grow on rocks.

well, here comes my 2 cents: In our 100% urbanised singapore, there sits this beautiful granite quarry. rather forgotten really. im kinda torn between wanting more people to go see it and wanting to keep it free from people. you've seen the rubbish and graffittis, imagine if more people do that. i think i'll go bersek and slap everyone.

As my friend Janette says "Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints". so when you visit Little Guilin, remember this (:

love, serene!

special thanks to Ms lim Jiayi for being my ruler and runner. HAHAHAHA.

3 comments:

  1. lovely post! (: i'll be using your blog post as a reference for one of my integrated humanities project. very useful information x

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  2. very nice post :) do you do hiking ? do like visiting old Places ? if you do , pm me. im starting a nature lover group hope you keen to join :) save green singapore

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