Dolerite outcrop

Dolerite outcrop

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Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dolerite outcrop. Dolerite is an intrusive igneous rock, meaning that it was formed from magma (molten rock) that solidified beneath the Earth's surface. Where magma rises up vertically from a magma chamber through bedding planes of other rocks it forms a dyke. Over time the rock becomes exposed at the surface. In this case, the dolerite rock of the dyke is more resistant to weathering and erosion than the country-rock, hence it protrudes from the surface of the flat plain. The dolerites of the Pilbara region of western Australia are covered with tussocks of spinifex grass (Spinifex sp.).

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Keywords: australia, basic, dolerite, dyke, earth science, geology, grass, hypabyssal, igneous, intrusion, intrusive, outcrop, pilbara, protrusion, rock, rocks, rocky, spinifex sp.

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