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29 April 2019

Monday Geology Picture: Pillow Basalt Decor

This week I’m sharing a picture of a lovely pillow basalt decorative slab that is part of the decor in the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia.  In this slab, you can see pillow shapes outlined by lovely glass rinds, which formed when the basaltic lava rapidly cooled because it was erupted underwater. I just love this decorative slab — who wouldn’t want …


16 April 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Another View of Formica Leo Volcanic Crater

Last week I shared a picture of the beautiful and impressive Formica Leo, a volcanic crater located at the Piton de la Fournaise volcano on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Last week’s picture showed the crater from a distance. You can just barely make out some small people in last week’s picture, to give you some sense of scale. However, I thought I would share a closer view of …


9 April 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Formica Leo Volcanic Crater

Today I’m sharing a picture of the stunning Formica Leo (foreground), a volcanic crater located at the Piton de la Fournaise volcano on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. My husband and I hiked up this crater when we visited the island for a holiday last year. We also hiked up to the top of the volcanic hill in the distance — crossing over a number of lava flows of …


22 January 2018

Monday Geology Picture: Pele’s Hair

For this week’s post, here’s a picture showing a lovely example of Pele’s Hair, which is a type of volcanic glass that consists of fibers or thin strands. Although I’ve visited many volcanoes (including a few active ones) over the years, I’ve never seen Pele’s Hair in the field. So, I was quite happy to see this excellent example in the volcano museum on Réunion Island. I visited the museum during …


30 October 2017

Monday Geology Picture: Pretty Pahoehoe

For this week’s picture, here’s another lovely shot of pahoehoe basalt that I took during a March 2017 vacation to Réunion Island. I previously shared a picture of some Réunion pahoehoe here.


2 October 2017

Monday Geology Picture: Posing with Pahoehoe

First of all, for this week’s “Monday Geology Picture” enjoy this fantastic picture of me sitting on some pahoehoe lava earlier this year, when I visited Réunion Island back in March. Second of all, let me provide a little explanation about why I have been terribly negligent of this blog over the past few months, despite my best intentions at the beginning of the year. In January I fully intended to read one science …


4 November 2012

Geology Word of the Week: A is for Amygdale

def. Amygdale (also spelled Amygule): Vesicles, generally in extrusive igneous rocks, that are filled with secondary minerals, most commonly quartz, calcite, chlorite, and zeolite. When a rock contains amygdales, geologists often describe it as an amygdaloidal rock. For example, basalt is often described as amygdaloidal basalt. Here are a few previous, related geology words of the week that may be of interest: V is for Vesicle (and Vug) Z is …


30 July 2012

Monday Geology Picture(s): A Lava Road Closure on Hawai’i

My friend Arthur recently visited Hawai’i and sent me some wonderful pictures of lava and basalt! My favorite picture is the one above of a former road now almost completely covered by basalt. Arthur informs me that the sign was for Chain of Craters Road, which is now buried under several meters of basalt in places. Here’s the approximate location of the roadsign. Arthur also sent me a few pictures …