KAJ R. SVENSSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KAJ R. SVENSSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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