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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Basalt Columnar Jointings

You may be on a geological quest to visit large basalt columnar jointings. The most famous jointings are in Ireland; the Giant Causeway and Fingals Cave.
Irelands Giant Causeway
Fingal's Cave in Northern Ireland has an entrance into what appears to be rather amazing...
Outside Fingals Cave
Inside Fingals Cave
But there are also some columnar basalt jointing locations in the USA.  The Devils Tower in Wyoming is one of the most well known columnar jointings.

California also has the columnar rock formation at Devils Postpile National Monument near Mammoth Lake in Eastern California

And in Oregon, you can find basalt columns along the roadways and gorges around the John Day Fossil Beds Historical Monument in Oregon.

It's an interesting experience to go on a journey based on geology. It's a type of mother nature history trip unlike other types of history trips. You have the opportunity of gaining an awareness that even though different places are made from similar rock (like this basalt) or if the formations were produced by the same type of force (such as a volcano), when you sit, pause, and contemplate the area and their surroundings, there is a different vibe, and as a result, a different feel at each of these sites. The geological history may be very similar, but after it's creation, they each had completely different experience and created a different ambience at each location.