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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Columnar dacite

No description of this
                                          asset is available
Photo by Unknown. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH 116684
Locality Washington, United States

From the exhibit

These lava columns represent one dramatic chapter in a saga that spans millions of years of geologic history. Like all rocks, they record the events that created them, enabling us to reconstruct the past and anticipate the future.

The columns originated in the Earth’s glowing hot interior as molten rock, which erupted as lava 15.7 million years ago and quickly cooled. Over millions of years, the columns will crumble and pieces will be incorporated into a new kind of rock.

This is how the columns looked in the quarry where we collected them.



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