A Geoscience Digital Image Library

TitleColumnar basalt at Devil's Postpile National Monument, California, USA
DescriptionThe geologic formation that is “the Postpile” is a great example of columnar basalt. The columns of hardened lava, with geometric shapes and four to seven sides, make a sort of honeycomb pattern. The columns formed when a basaltic lava flow shrank while cooling. It shrank around many centers, much like mud drying up in a lake bottom. Cracks formed on the surface and ideal conditions allowed them to propagate inwards. Columnar basalts exist in many places, but few are as sharply outlined and well preserved as these at Devil's Postile. The basalts at Devil's Postpile are less than 100,000 years old.
Geologic provinceSierra Nevada
LocationUSA ▹ California ▹ Mono. Near Mammoth Lakes. Devil's Postpile National Monument.
PhotographerDexter Perkins. 2001-05-22.
Key wordsDevils Postpile, California, columnar, basalt
Tech details378 KB. Outcrop. Canon Eos Rebel, 55 mm lens, Fuji Sensia 100.
GeoDIL number555