Traprock mountain

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Devil's Tower, Wyoming, a prominent basalt (traprock) landscape feature

Traprock (or basalt) mountains, ridges, (or just traps) are elevated landscape features made of the rock known as basalt and its close relatives. Basalt, an iron-rich rock otherwise known as traprock, is a characteristically dark-colored rock that weathers to shades of red and purplish-red when exposed to the air. Basalt is the substance of many elevated topographic features worldwide (hills, mountains, ridges, rock formations, etc.). Landscape features composed of basalt may include:

  • Elevated sections of prehistoric ocean floor that have been raised above sea level via plate tectonics
  • Prehistoric terrestrial lava floods that have become upended and/or exposed via faulting and erosion
  • Various surface volcanic landforms both recent and ancient.

Because basalt has a tendency to fracture at abrupt angles, topographic features made of basalt often have a "postpile" appearance (Devil's Tower of Wyoming is a good example). Basalt ridges make up hundreds of square miles of topographic features in the northwestern United States, from Wyoming to Oregon.

Notable landforms[edit]

Prominent basalt ridges, mountains, buttes, canyons, and other landscape features include:

In the United States[edit]

Other parts of the world[edit]

References[edit]