Monday, February 14, 2011

Columnar Basalt

When a thick lava flow cools, it contracts vertically but cracks perpendicular to its directional flow with remarkable geometric regularity- in most cases forming a regular grid of remarkable hexagonal extrusions that almost appear to be made by man.

One of the most famous such examples is the Giants Causeway on the coast of Ireland (shown above),though the largest and most widely recognized would be Tower in Wyoming.

Basalt also forms different but equally fascinating ways when eruptions are exposed to air or water.


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