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Sun May 13, 2018, 09:58 PM

Scientists solve mystery of how Giant's Causeway was formed


Volcanologists use samples from Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland to recreate famous hexagonal columns in laboratory
Hannah Devlin Science correspondent

@hannahdev
Thu 12 Apr 2018 11.02 EDT

According to legend, the Giant’s Causeway was built by the Irish giant, Finn MacCool, as a crossing to confront his Scottish rival. Scientists have an alternative explanation, and for the first time they have reproduced in the laboratory the process through which the causeway’s 40,000 near-perfect hexagonal columns were formed.

Geometric columns are seen in a variety of volcanic rocks across the Earth and are known to form as the rock cools and contracts, resulting in a regular array of polygonal prisms or columns. But until now, geologists had been unsure of the threshold at which cooling magma suddenly fractures into a geometric pavement.

Yan Lavallée, professor of volcanology at the University of Liverpool and lead author, said: “[This] is a question that has fascinated the world of geology for a very long time. We have been wanting to know whether the temperature of the lava that causes the fractures was hot, warm or cold.”

To answer the question, Lavallée and colleagues recreated the process in the laboratory using basalt cores drilled from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. The 20cm-long cylinders, gripped by a clamp at each end, were heated to more than 1,000C until they began to soften into lava. The samples were fixed at each end in a mechanical grip and cooled to test at what point they snapped.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/12/scientists-solve-mystery-of-how-giants-causeway-was-formed?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Lab+notes+2016&utm_term=271305&subid=25418764&CMP=ema-3242






More images of the Giant's Causeway:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrUieGn6_harkMAmmeLuLkF;_ylc=X1MDOTYwNTc0ODMEX3IDMgRiY2sDZWFlcjdmOWNnbDI5ZyUyNmIlM0Q0JTI2ZCUzRGZFVE9PSzFyWUgzS3VfNWJGaWk4THF3a19jX3JYc19ya1E2azM1dGQ0N2NwM1EtLSUyNnMlM0RkayUyNmklM0RhUld1NUEwY3cxX0t4T1NsM1EyTQRmcgMEZ3ByaWQDU2hnVUpEMUJRbFdiZnh1WFJnVC5RQQRtdGVzdGlkA251bGwEbl9zdWdnAzEwBG9yaWdpbgNpbWFnZXMuc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMARwcXN0cgMEcHFzdHJsAwRxc3RybAMxNwRxdWVyeQMgR2lhbnZcyBDYXVzZXdheQR0X3N0bXADMTUyNjI2MjcwOAR2dGVzdGlkA251bGw-?gprid=ShgUJD1BQlWbfxuXRgT.QA&pvid=NuHBjjEwLjLlO2d6WQqJMAJtMjYwMAAAAAC5xiXO&fr2=sb-top-images.search.yahoo.com&p=+Giant’s+Causeway&ei=UTF-8&iscqry=&fr=sfp#id=143&iurl=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-WxKqw2k57rA%2FVzn1DijMA8I%2FAAAAAAAAAK8%2FSW9jTswncZI5hH6MT475RWTpgAMvWuOTgCK4B%2Fs1600%2Fgiants-causeway-f.jpg&action=close

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 13, 2018, 10:06 PM

1. Definately one of the things I'd really like to see.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #1)

Tue May 15, 2018, 01:34 PM

11. I've been, it's gorgeous!

Definitely a full days outing though. There are beautiful hiking trails up and down the coastline that looked like quite the workout. One of our travelling companions was wheelchair bound, unfortunately, so we basically rode the bus down, hung out for an hour while some of us walked the stairway down to the ocean, and then left. So it was a bit pricy for the time spent, but how can you put a price on a memory that will last a lifetime?

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Response to robbob (Reply #11)

Tue May 15, 2018, 01:44 PM

12. Its probably a good thing its so hard to get to, otherwise there'd be a Trump resort there.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 13, 2018, 10:34 PM

2. We have those same basalt columns in Washington

Along the Columbia River, near Vantage.

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Response to RainCaster (Reply #2)

Sun May 13, 2018, 11:20 PM

3. Devil's Postpile in California

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun May 13, 2018, 11:40 PM

4. Devil's Tower and Devil's Postpile are the same type of thing.

Devil's Tower was apparently an ancient magma intrusion, not an actual volcano as once believed.



https://media.gettyimages.com/videos/shot-of-birds-eye-view-fly-over-devils-tower-wyoming-united-states-video-id503236181



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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2018, 08:44 AM

5. Finn MacCool is the name of my Gaelic heavy metal band. nt

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2018, 11:07 AM

6. Once visited a formation like this

In Nova Scotia on some islands along the Bay of Fundy.

Combined with the crazy tides, that was a pretty cool place to visit.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2018, 12:36 PM

7. no thread like this would be complete w/o ....

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Response to Locrian (Reply #7)

Tue May 15, 2018, 03:05 AM

9. +1

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon May 14, 2018, 01:52 PM

8. Kinda off topic:

A flatbed truck loaded with columnar basalt was parked in my town over the weekend. I had to stop and marvel at the load of neatly loaded pallets of 8, 10 and 12 foot lichen encrusted columns. Undoubtedly, they were destined for an upscale landscaping project down the road. Interesting, the were ALL five sided columns.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 09:32 AM

10. There's a gorge with waterfalls in southern Japan named Takachiho. It is lined with columnar

basalt and is believed to be the birthplace of the gods.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #10)

Tue May 15, 2018, 08:05 PM

13. Unbearably beautiful. Just went to find images after seeing your post:



For anyone else who is curious, please see these images:

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrJ7JpedPtaDoMAwStXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=Takachiho&fr2=piv-web&fr=sfp

I wouldn't need to live another day after seeing any place like this. It's simply too much heaven for any spot on earth.

Thank you, Nitram.

It's in Kyushu, Japan's southernmost island. Nagasaki, bombed to hell is also located on Kyushu.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #13)

Wed May 16, 2018, 07:57 AM

14. thank you for posting the picture and the link, Judi.

My wife and I rowed through the gorge on a trip around Kyushu. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place.

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