UK News 'Giant's Causeway' Mysterious Irish Rock Structure Was Formed by Ancient Volcanoes

11:00  17 april  2018
11:00  17 april  2018 Source:   Newsweek

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According to legend, the Giant ’ s Causeway was built by the Irish giant , Finn MacCool, as a crossing to confront his Scottish rival. Geometric columns are seen in a variety of volcanic rocks across the Earth and are known to form as the rock cools and contracts, resulting in a regular array of polygonal

Scientists have shown that the Giant ’ s Causeway was formed by a volcanic eruption, but Irish The courts ruled that the public had an ‘ ancient right of way’ to visit the Causeway and view the stones. Features of the Giant ’ s Causeway . The rock formations in the Causeway have produced shapes

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On the coast of Northern Ireland sits an expanse of polygonal rock columns known as the Giant’s Causeway. The natural formation has been the center of myths as well as geologic research for years, but now a new study sets the record straight by finally explaining how the Giant’s Causeway came to be.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool, was published in Nature Communications on Thursday. Scientists already knew that the Giant’s Causeway rock columns formed from cracking during the quick cooling of magma rock about 50 to 60 million years ago, Science Alert reported.

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Mysterious Sights: Racetrack Playa, California. Even NASA cannot explain it. It’s best to gaze in wonder at the sliding rocks on this dry lake bed in For those that aren’t aware though, the Giant ’ s Causeway is a massive area of interlocking basalt columns created after an ancient volcanic eruption.

According to legend, the Giant ’ s Causeway was built by the Irish giant , Finn MacCool, as a crossing to confront his Scottish rival. Geometric columns are seen in a variety of volcanic rocks across the Earth and are known to form as the rock cools and contracts, resulting in a regular array of polygonal

However, the specifics of exactly what happened to create such a natural marvel remained unclear.

a group of people on a rock near the ocean: 04_16_causeway © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 04_16_causeway

The researchers created an experiment that allowed them to see exactly what happened when lava cooled. Using rock columns from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, the team heated the rock samples and then cooled them, a press release on the study reported.

This allowed them to see at what point the cooling lava created the same rock features seen at the Giant’s Causeway. The answer was between 1,544 and 1,634 degrees Fahrenheit.

"We have been wanting to know whether the temperature of the lava that causes the fractures was hot, warm or cold,” said Yan Lavallee, chair of volcanology and magmatic processes at the University of Liverpool, and study co-author, Science Alert reported.

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The Giant ' s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles (4.8 km) northeast of the town of Bushmills.

An ancient volcanic eruption and spectacular rock structure has long been the source of colourful legend in the form of the Giant ’ s Causeway , a UNESCO world heritage site.

a close up of a wall: 04_16_rocks © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 04_16_rocks

“Now, with this study, we have found that the answer is hot, but after it solidified."

The finding has more implications than just answering an ancient mystery. It also gives insight into how volcanoes work and how we may be able to use this natural energy source for our own benefit.

Geothermal energy uses heat that is trapped beneath the Earth to create electricity. Much of this energy comes from the heat of supercritical water, which is water that is so hot that it no longer behaves like traditional water.

Slideshow: The most active volcanoes around the world (Photo Services)

Harnessing the power of magma is complicated, however, and humans still haven't mastered the process.

According to Lavallée, the finding could help direct human drilling strategy and lead to innovations in the development of using magma energy sources.

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