Columnar Basalt on Jeju Island, Korea

Columnar Basalt on Jeju Island, Korea

• My recent junket to South Korea, purportedly on the invitation of the International Plant Biology conference, took me to Jeju Island.  Dominated by the central Halla-san volcano, this temperate island has waterfalls plunging into the glittering ocean, skates drying in the wind, and tangerine groves galore.  I spotted these geological formations of columnar basalt along the southern coast of Jeju island at Jusangjeolli (주상절리), and at the three-tiered Cheonjeyeon Waterfall.

• Basalt is volcanic rock formed from cooling lava. As thick lava flow cools, it fractures- more easily in the horizontal direction than vertical. This results in columnar basalt, with amazingly regular hexagonal shapes. The slower the cooling, the larger the columns. The ones on Jeju-do were formed between 250,000 and 140,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene period. Another famous example is the Giant’s Causeway of Ireland, where the geometric perfection seems artificial or photoshopped! 

Thanks to Thomas Kang for exhorting me to check these out. HIRL account with Thomas coming up; sorry, no pictures of the Korean spa 😉

This entry was posted in Rajini Rao. Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Columnar Basalt on Jeju Island, Korea

  1. Rajini Rao says:


    I guess you speed read to the last sentence, hmmm? 🙂

  2. Bert Shaw says:


    Very cool. Thank you for sharing the photos.

  3. Rajini Rao says:


    Glad you liked them, Bert Shaw .


    Feisal Kamil , you’ll just have to grin and bare it 🙂

  4. Rajini Rao says:


    How about if I share a pix of Thomas Kang going Gangnam style, Aida Hazlan ? 😉

  5. Rajini Rao says:


    I derierre you to do that, Feisal Kamil !

  6. Chad Haney says:


    Great pictures. I should post more of my older pics from conferences abroad.

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Pictures, not posters, Feisal Kamil . I need proof that you were in this festival.

  8. Chad Haney says:


    cultural perspective You mean from any perspective. Hehe

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    Oh yes, Shinae Choi Robinson . Let’s say that I lost a few inches off my surface. It was a great experience, and funny too. Thomas dropped me off there, with some explanation..but beyond that, there was no way I could communicate with the ladies there. It was err…interesting!  😀

  10. Rajini Rao says:


    The sacrifices I make in the name of science, Rashid Moore . Really, I ought to get a medal for this 😛

  11. Rajini Rao says:


    With slaps on one’s backside and not to mention where else? Loads of fun painful embarrassment, yes, that’s right 😛

  12. Rajini Rao says:


    Spoken like a true pasha, Dan.


    You may call me Saint Rao, Rashid Moore  🙂


  13. Those formations look very similar to the ones at the giant’s causeway in Northern Ireland. http://www.northantrim.com/giantscauseway.htm

  14. Rajini Rao says:


    LOL, the eyebrow raising posts of my Incorrigible friends are giving me wrinkles, Shinae Choi Robinson . Not to mention all those laugh lines. I must try the Kimchi-stuffing technique, sounds more a-peeling  🙂

  15. Kawthar A says:


    Amazing pixs Rajini Rao !! 🙂


    Any beauty secrets to reveal!? 😉

  16. Jim Carver says:


    “Devil’s Postpile” is also an interesting one. The size of the columns is generally related to the length of time spent cooling, i.e. slower = larger columns (larger crystals). Other factors may come into play such as the degree of water pressure.

  17. Deeksha Tare says:


    Awesome album Rajini Rao ! 🙂

  18. Rajini Rao says:


    Thanks for the reference, Jim Carver . I found this:http://www.nps.gov/depo/naturescience/geology.htm


    Another reason to visit Yosemite! 

  19. Jim Carver says:


    Yes, Yose-a-mite is dyno-mite! Sorry, couldn’t resist.


  20. Amazing !! b nice info thank you…..you here after so long…

  21. Rajini Rao says:


    Thanks, prashant mahendranavar . I really need to post more regularly 🙂

  22. Jim Carver says:


    Peter Lindelauf I +ed  that because it was funny. I’m out of the voting business for a while.

  23. Rajini Rao says:


    That strikes a nice consonant chord in me, thank you Peter Lindelauf 😉

  24. Jim Carver says:


    As I said, the rate of cooling is not always the determining factor for crystal growth and involves many phase characteristics of a given melt composition. It is however, often used as a rule of thumb.


    While the following short article (question/answer page actually) refers to pegmatites, some interesting insights can be gained from their study:


    http://www.minsocam.org/msa/special/pig/PIG_CQ/PIG_CQ_pal_sat.html


  25. Coming back later for a “respectable armchair” viewing of the post! 


  26. Wow Rajini Rao just saw these, very pretty! Reminds me of Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, I visited that a few years back and it was amazing – very much like these columns.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant%27s_Causeway


  27. Buddhini Samarasinghe there is also a devil’s stockpile in Sierra Nevada range with similar cooling pillars.


    Btw, Rajini Rao I had referenced this when commenting on some hexagonal structure we were discussing previously…


  28. Well, I guess that kind of spa treatment can be one way of getting your rocks  off. 

  29. Thomas Kang says:


    Gnotic Pasta asked:


    So you’re saying Rajini stumbled onto the secret of how Korean women stay looking so young and beautiful for so long???


    Here you go, Dan. I hope this helps:


    https://plus.google.com/u/0/114049181704701025985/posts/hJG8PhEDK89

  30. Sania usman says:


    its a beautiful place and mountain 


  31. HI GOOD MORNING FRIEND VERY VERY NICE DAY


  32. HI NO NEED TO SHOUT HAVE A GOOD EVENING


  33. OI FEISAL WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING IM NOT DEAF!

  34. Chad Haney says:


    WHAT’S ALL THIS SHOUTING ABOUT? IS THERE SOME SEXY TIME CHAT GOING ON?


  35. SHOUTY SEXY TIME WE SHOUT SWEET NOTHINGS IN EACH OTHERS EARS BABY U WANT SOME?


  36. SWEET DREAMS CHAD NITE NITE!

  37. Rajini Rao says:


    It’s a wonder that I slept through all this shouting.

  38. Chad Haney says:


    There’s a RAJEEV on my grill post and GOOD MORNING.

  39. Thomas Kang says:


    May I ask what you guys are talking about?


  40. LOL, Buddhini Samarasinghe!


  41. Yes, Thomas Kang, you may ask. 🙂

  42. Thomas Kang says:


    Good. What are you guys talking about?


  43. Since I am not a guy, I do not match your parameters and therefore can’t answer your latest question.  🙂


  44. Chad Haney’s ‘yes please’ should be a shining example to all the rajeevs out there.  🙂


  45. Thomas, we are just poking fun at the folks who come on threads with their pick-up-artist lines.

  46. Thomas Kang says:


    Ah, Michelle, you’ve sparked some flashes of recognition, perhaps last year or much earlier this year. My vague recollection is coming back, I think.

  47. Rajini Rao says:


    The sequence went like this: ALL CAPS COMMENT → RAJEEV alert → Chad’s grill post (http://goo.gl/Qa40Y) quiet Rajeev → shopping cart chrome comment.


    Makes perfect sense to me 😉

  48. Thomas Kang says:


    The way you put it, Rajini, makes perfect sense to me, too — complete, with a sense of closure to it. ^

  49. Ateeq Ahmed says:


    Basaltic Rock exhibiting Columnar joints & some vesicular too ..Nice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s