Basalt Rocks of Iceland

The most astonishing about Iceland, is the volcanic landscape. Everywhere you look around, you see the results of the violent powers that formed the very land you walk on. One particular feature are the crystalline forms of the columnar basalt. These rocks were formed when large and thick lava flows were “rapidly” cooled down. By cooling down, the mass of lava shrinks. That is no problem in the vertical dimension, but horizontally it creates contractional joints. The structures are mostly hexagonal in cross-section, but you can see polygons with tree up to twelve or more sides.  And depending on the speed of the cooling, the columns get smaller when the speed increases.

Although basalt is tough, it erodes quite fast. And that is why you can observe the most fantastic rock forms. Both “The Curtain” and “Basalt Columns” are located only a few hundred meters apart from each other. Yet the appearance is totally different. One is smooth, the other is broken up and smashed. This is just the force of nature, and its beauty.