Images by Alan

27 Jun 2017 37 views
 
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photoblog image Basalt columns

Basalt columns

Staffa, an entirely volcanic island, is probably best known for its unique geological features such as the many caves and the shape of the basalt columns which are also found in the Giant’s Causeway and Rathlin island in Northern Ireland and closer by on the island of Ulva. It consists of a basement of tuff, underneath colonnades of a black fine-grained Tertiary basalt, overlying which is a third layer of basaltic lava lacking a crystalline structure. By contrast, slow cooling of the second layer of basalt resulted in an extraordinary pattern of predominantly hexagonal columns which form the faces and walls of the principal caves. The lava contracted towards each of a series of equally spaced centres as it cooled and solidified into prismatic columns. The columns typically have three to eight sides, six being most common.

Basalt columns

Staffa, an entirely volcanic island, is probably best known for its unique geological features such as the many caves and the shape of the basalt columns which are also found in the Giant’s Causeway and Rathlin island in Northern Ireland and closer by on the island of Ulva. It consists of a basement of tuff, underneath colonnades of a black fine-grained Tertiary basalt, overlying which is a third layer of basaltic lava lacking a crystalline structure. By contrast, slow cooling of the second layer of basalt resulted in an extraordinary pattern of predominantly hexagonal columns which form the faces and walls of the principal caves. The lava contracted towards each of a series of equally spaced centres as it cooled and solidified into prismatic columns. The columns typically have three to eight sides, six being most common.

comments (12)

  • Ray
  • Not in United States
  • 27 Jun 2017, 01:04
It is an astonishing sight, Alan.

Erik Von Daniken might have used the site as evidence of an ancient Alien visitation.
Alan: It's a fascinating place. I see more aliens walking round the streets of my fine city that i did here.
Fantastic Foto!
And thank you so much for the info - fascinating stuff!!!
Alan: Thanks, Elizabeth; I was pleased with how the photo turned out considering the way the boat was rocking. As I've said before, I wish I knew much more about Geology.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 27 Jun 2017, 07:03
How bizarre is that!
Alan: Isn't it glorious! I was interested in the cloud bank in the distance, too.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 27 Jun 2017, 07:06
Oh, what a fascinating sight! Thank you for your geological explanation. I see how the sea is embracing Staffa while singing its eternal melody. I wonder that the tourists are allowed to go around the columns, it looks a bit dangerous.
Alan: This is a cable handrail anchored to the rocks and anyone visiting the cave is advised to hold on to it incase a larger wave than normal tried to sweep you away. I would love to see it on a stormy day. Thanks, Philine.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 27 Jun 2017, 07:37
Where are the birds and especially the puffins? Did you see dolphins and whales while arounding the island?
Alan: The puffins are on a different part of the island. The small boat jetty is around a 10 minute walk from the cave and the puffins are around 10 minutes in the opposite direction. Dolphins and whales are sometimes seen but I did not see any. I did see some seals on "Ladies Island", though.
  • Martine
  • France
  • 27 Jun 2017, 07:37
La nature fait de jolies choses.
Alan: Nature never ceases to astound me, Martine.
Giants Causeway is a bit underwhelming but this lol,s majestic. How do people land on Staffa?
Alan: There is much more of a sense of adventure seeing these on Staffa - plus there are less Irish there. There's a small jetty and you have to time your disembarkation to avoid getting your feet wet.
Remarkable, it looks unnatural
Alan: The wonders of nature.
What a wondrous display of this geologic feature.Thank you.
Alan: Its incredible.
Another great image Alan. I don't know what would have happened to my Vertigo if I sat there bobbing up and down in thsi boat.
Alan: Best avoided, I think, Brian in that case. I think I've already said that I could still feel the motion for eh boat several days later.
Very little beats natures architecture Alan, another good shot of this fascinating place.
Alan: The forces that create such features are beyond my comprehension. Thanks, Frank.
Hard to believe it is not man made isn't it?
Alan: The forces that create such features are beyond my comprehension, even though I know the very basic theory.

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camera ILCE-6300
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/640s
aperture f/8.0
sensitivity ISO2500
focal length 24.0mm
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