Fingal's Cave on Staffa, 19th century

Fingal's Cave on Staffa, 19th century

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Credit: MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fingal's Cave on Staffa. 19th-century artwork of the uninhabited island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland, with basalt columns and the sea cave known as Fingal's Cave. These columns of basalt formed when molten rock (magma) from below the Earth's surface rose to the surface during volcanic activity. Rocks of magmatic origin are called igneous rocks. As these igneous rocks formed at the surface, they are called extrusive igneous rocks. The geometry of the columns is due to contraction on cooling. Artwork from 'Encyclopaedia Metropolitana' (1845).

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