Caustic Networks

Caustic networks can be formed by refraction or reflection of sunlight off a gently undulating water surface. For refraction effects the best results are when the water depth roughly matches the focal length of the crude water lenses. Clear water and strong sunlight give the best results.

Ripples may be generated by water flow.

Caustic network in a stream Caustic network on bacterial mats

A good colourful background adds to the effect.

A very gentle breeze can be effective.

Caustic networks in warm pools Colourful hot springs

Convection currents in a hot spring.

See 'Color and Light in Nature' by Lynch and Livingston for a more detailed explanation of the different effects from water ripples.

Other Glows Topics