Columnar Jointing, Devils Postpile, California

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Location: 37o 37' 30" N, 119o 05' 08" W.

Devil's Postpile is a small lava flow a few million years old. As the flow cooled, it shrank and broke up into neat columns. Most geology texts show the portion to the right, where the columns are extremely straight and vertical. Fanning columns, like those on the left, are common, and may form when parts of the flow are suddenly cooled by contact with water.

Original Scene

(author's image)

Possible Coloring

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Created 14 July 2009, Last Update 14 December 2009

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