List of places with columnar jointed volcanics

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Basalt columns seen on Porto Santo Island.

Columnar jointed volcanic rocks exist in many places on Earth. Perhaps the most famous basalt lava flow in the world is the Giant's Causeway on the northern coast of Ireland, in which the vertical joints form polygonal columns and give the impression of having been artificially constructed.

A thirteenth-century religious complex called Nan Madol was built on the Pacific island of Pohnpei, using columnar basalt quarried from various locations on the island. The massive ruins remain to this day.

Notable columnar jointed volcanics[edit]



Columnar jointed basalt in Hong Kong, near Basalt Island and High Island Reservoir areas
S-shaped columnar rhyolitic tuff at the Hong Kong High Island Reservoir
  • Heiyuhe Columnar Joints (黑鱼河柱状节理) [Xianrenqiao (仙人桥)], Longchuan River (龙川江) & Black Fish River, Tengchong, China
Hong Kong
  • Basalt Island area, Hong Kong; including High Island Reservoir area, Hong Kong; although the High Island Reservoir is not basalt but a type of acidic rhyolite ¾ dacite porphyroclastic lava. It is rich in potash feldspar and quartz phenocrysts.
Columnar basalts at the Cape Stolbchatiy, Kuril islands, Russia
Basaltic columns at Milos island.
Basalt Columns formed along a river in a remote place in Tawau, Malaysia
The Cliff of Stone Plates (Ghềnh Đá Dĩa) near Tuy Hòa city, Phú Yên Province, Vietnam


Basalt columns in the Rhön, North Bavaria, Germany
Columnar jointing in the basalt of the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland
Faroe Islands
  • Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island
  • Bér, Hungary
  • Szanda, Hungary
  • Szilváskő, Hungary
  • Somoskő, Hungary-Slovakia border
  • Hegyestű, Hungary
  • Szent-György-hegy, Hungary
  • Gulács, Hungary
  • Haláp, Hungary
  • Hajagos, Hungary
  • Uzsa, Hungary
United Kingdom

North America[edit]

Columnar basalt at Devil's Postpile in California
  • North Mountain, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Grand Manan Island (western shorelines), New Brunswick, Canada
  • Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
  • Cardiff Mountain, Chilcotin Plateau, British Columbia, Canada
  • Keremeos Columns, Keremeos, British Columbia, Canada
  • Wells Grey Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada (Moul Falls, Dragon's Tongue, Helmcken Falls)
  • Mount Edziza Volcanic Complex, British Columbia, Canada
  • Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada (Mt. Boucherie, Spion Kopje)
  • Devils Woodpile, British Columbia, Canada (Cathedral Provincial Park)
  • Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec
  • Rossport Islands, Rossport, Ontario
United States


Federated States of Micronesia
New Zealand

South America[edit]


Columnar jointed rocks in unnamed crater wall, Marte Vallis region, Mars. Image courtesy of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, Arizona State University.

Several exposures of columnar jointing have been discovered on the planet Mars by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which is carried by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).


  1. ^ Grunert, Nicole (2000). Namibia: Fascination of Geology – A Travel Handbook. Windhoek: Klaus Hess. pp. 73–74. ISBN 99916-747-8-0. 
  2. ^ Ntekim, E. E. & Adekeye, J. I. D. (2003). "Petrography and geochemistry of basaltic rocks from the northcentral part of Yola Basin, N.E. Nigeria" (PDF). Nigerian Journal of Pure and Applied Science 18: 1430–1437. 
  3. ^ Cape Stolbchatiy
  4. ^ ม่อนเสาหินพิศวง Wonderful Mountain Of Colunnar
  5. ^ Two stone wonders by seaside
  6. ^ Gobierno vasco. "Basaltos de Fruiz" (PDF). Inventario lugares de interés geológico en la comunidad autónoma del País Vasco (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Disyuncion columnar en basaltos, Cantera de Fruiz (Unai Mtz. de Lahidalga de Miguel, Panoramio)
  8. ^ Pitón volcánico de Cancarix (Wikipedia in Spanish)
  9. ^ La Gomera: basalt cliffs Los Organos (Wikimedia Commons)
  10. ^ Website in Czech language with some nice pictures and excellent example of columnar basalt in Northern Bohemia near Kamenicky Senov
  11. ^ Callan Bentley (14 November 2011). "Compton Peak: superb columnar jointing". Callan Bentley's blog Mountain Beltway on American Geophysical Union Blogosphere. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  12. ^ File:Columnar basalt.jpg (Wikimedia Commons)
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Sawn Rocks, Mount Kaputar National Park" (PDF). NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Alex Zuccarelli, 2003, Pohnpei-Between Time & Tide . Pwisehn Malek
  16. ^ Department of Conservation, "Blackhead: Vegetation condition after quarrying"
  17. ^ New Zealand Tramper, "Walking notes: Organ Pipes"
  18. ^
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