GEOSITES > Çakırca Columnar Basalt

Çakırca Columnar Basalt

This lava forming the columnar basalts erupted from Toytepe Volcano, located on the northernmost edge of Sarnıç Plato about 1,260 Million years ago. When the lava came on the surface, its temperature was about 800 C degrees and probably cooled over the course of a ceuntry. During the 100-years of cooling initially contrasting and surface shrinking were developed in the magma, which resulted in formation of onterlocking hexagonal columnar basalt structures. When magma cools, it contracts. This is because hot things take up more space than coll things. When objects contract, they often crack or fracture. The fracture pattern that forms at the cooling surface will tend to be propagated down the lava as it cools, forming long, geometric columns. When contraction occurs at centers which are equally spaced (see the above diagram), then a hexagonal fracture pattern will develop (See Figure above). Scientific studies point out that contraction may be equally spaced if the thickness or composition of the lava flow is similar, which result in the formation of hexagonal columnar basalt.

 

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