The Making of Steephead Ravine Stream 1
While out venturing with my camera, making landscape photos in Florida near the bluffs and ravines region of the Apalachicola River basin, I discovered a small, sandy-bottom stream that had eaten away at the limestone over time, creating a ravine with steep, maidenhair fern-lined banks, on its way to the river. I found a way down into the creek, set up my tripod, and made the landscape image Steephead Ravine Stream 1.
While most stream valleys form from surface water carrying away sediment from the top layer, Florida State Parks describes the formation of steephead ravines as being due to clear, filtered ground water emerging through porous sand, in the form of a spring or seepage, onto a sloping surface. It removes sediment from the bottom of the slope, causing the sand above to slump down and be carried away by the steephead stream. This action means steephead ravines are continuously lengthening as the seeping water erodes them from the bottom up.
Florida State Parks also describes the habitat created by steephead streams as being a unique and sheltered habitat for many specially adapted and delicate species of animals and plants. Steephead ravines remain much cooler during the heat of summer due to their depth and heavily shaded overstory, creating a great habitat for animals such as frogs and salamanders to thrive.