Chilean Columns of Basalt!

The characteristic hexagonal pattern of the basalt columns form after the rock cools.

While on a beach down in Chile, South America the Moss Landing Marine Labs Global Systems class stumbled on a series of interesting rock features.  The low silica rock of Chile flows easily and comes from molten lava, when it cools it contracts and forms.  These cracks that form from cooling are roughly 6-sided, or hexagonal, and can form huge columns as seen at California’s Devils Postpile National Park.  We took the liberty of testing the rock’s structural integrity while trying to climb these amazing columns.  The columns seem man made, but knowing some basic geology helps to determine the origin, even when in another hemisphere from home.

You can tell these columns shifted after the time they were created by the way they tilt to the side.


This entry was posted in Oh, the Places We Go!, Scott Gabara and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Chilean Columns of Basalt!

  1. diverdiane says:

    Very cool pictures and explanation. I like how you have a climber for scale.


  2. Jody Gabara says:

    Great Photos! Love what you are accomplishing.
    Stan and Jody Gabara


  3. Jose says:

    which beach is it?


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