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Svartifoss in Skaftafell National Park
Iceland

The name Svartifoss (meaning Black Waterfall) is obvious, but the black basalt columns that flank the waterfall is less. Arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern, the rocks hang off the cliff face like organpipes.

Iceland's geology is dominated by volcanic activity. Large eruptions of basalt lava may create deep flows of molten rock. As the rock slowly cools it shrinks slightly. The stresses cause jointing in several different planes, and columns of rock form with a generally hexagonal shape, like pencils. You can see this process more easily (as dont have to wait long time and risk your feets) when droughts come and mud dries. Cracks formed on the surface of mud are the same case as are these mighty organ pipes.

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Copyright: Jakub Hruska
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 9874x4937
Taken: 15/07/2008
Uploaded: 16/07/2009
Updated: 03/10/2014
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Tags: geology; rocks; iceland; lava; waterfall; stream; river
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