In the Calanques National Park near Cassis, France, color changes in the limestone formations along the shoreline of Port Pin reflect the effects of water on the karst landforms of the terrain. The grey patina seen on the rocks below the trees is the result of exposure to rain, atmospheric weathering, and biofilms. The lighter coloration along the shoreline outlines the zone of more aggressive chemical and mechanical erosion caused by the fluctuating water levels of the calanque.
In the aquachrome project, a print image of Port Pin is subjected to the same hydrological dynamic shaping the landscape the image depicts - immersion in the chemical and mechanical forces of the Mediterranean sea.
The saline waters of Port Pin erode the image quality slightly, and shift the color tonality to a yellow hue. In a figurative sense, an inkjet print can be thought of as a form of human-mediated sedimentary geology. The print process converts a digital file into a pattern of water borne pigments which dry into a microscale geological landscape of layered image sediments on a paper substrate.
The color change in the image brought about by marine immersion mirrors other hydrological color dynamics present in the karst landscape. Rainwater combines with carbon dioxide to etch limestone rocks with a mild solution of carbonic acid, which contributes to changes in coloration over time . The dry underside of the rock remains unaffected, creating a marked visual contrast between exposed and unexposed surfaces.