Fingal’s Cave, Staffa, Scotland

Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, share of a National Nature Reserve owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It is Formed Entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns Within a Paleocene lava flow, similar in structure to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and Ulva Those of Florida. Thesis in all cases, cooling on the upper and lower surfaces of the solidified lava resulted in contraction and fracturing, starting in a tetragonal blocky pattern and transitioning to a regular hexagonal pattern with fractures fracture perpendicular to the cooling surfaces. As cooling Continued thesis cracks extended Gradually Toward the center of the flow, forming the long hexagonal columns we see in the wave eroded cross-section today. Similar hexagonal fracture patterns are found in desiccation cracks in mud Where contraction is due to loss of water INSTEAD of cooling