Lava bluffs & basalt columns, Columbia River Gorge

Lava bluffs & basalt columns, Columbia River Gorge

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Credit: KAJ R. SVENSSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lava bluffs and basalt columns. Basalt columns in a volcanic cliff running along a dry canyon. Basalt is formed from volcanic lava. As the molten rock cools it contracts, causing tensional forces that pull open a series of vertical fractures between hexagonal columns of solidified basalt. The columns become visible when the rock is exposed to weathering, as has happened here. Photographed in the Columbia River Gorge, Washington State, USA.

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Keywords: basalt, basalt column, basalt columns, bluff, cliff, column, columnar basalt, environment, geography, igneous rock, type, volcanic, volcanic rock

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