DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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