lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015

Monthly Geological Pics

MAY 15

The Teide Rose - Tenerife (Canary island - Spain)

The Teide Rose or "stone rose" is a singular geological structure to be found in Tenerife island, along the road that climbs from the northern cosy town of La Orotava to the Teide Volcano National Park (Km 22,4). 
It is a curious example of basalt hexagon contraction which has developped a singular radial pattern.

La Rosa del Teide o Rosa de Piedra se encuentra en la Isla de Tenerife, en la carretera de subida al volcán del Teide (TF-21) 
desde La Orotava, en el km 22,4. 
Se trata de un curioso ejemplo de disyunción columnar en basaltos, puesto que aparece en forma radial, generando una estructura singular en la que la roca asemeja una bella flor de piedra.

Basalt contraction jointing is the result of lava bodies cooling.
Because it is not possible to contract the body of cooling lava as whole, traction fractures form and propagate from the outer surfaces inwards trough discrete fracturing events.
Normally, this happens with a six coordination distribution (the tightest possible distribution) hence producing hexagons (like in the famous Giants Causeaway (Ireland)).

Because the lava body is not absolutelly homogeneous, the columns may vary from triangular to heptagonal prisms, instead of beeing perfectly hexagonal. Tenerife's Teide Rose is a beautiful particular case where jointing has developped in a radial shape, hence producing an unmatched stone blossom which catches the eye of anybody driving on its way up the Teide mountain road.

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