Brick Red

Spheroidal weathering of Basalt

Layers of red rock, lit here by sunset on Giant’s Causeway, along the cliff trail, seen here from below, are called laterite from the Latin for brick (later). Here it is formed from iron rich basalt laid down well before the upper layers of the magma plateau. It takes eons to weather and oxidize the iron of basalt, transforming it to the brick red of laterite, yet the rocks above it are still dark. The process happens in warmer climates with alternating cycles of rain and drought, for Ireland this was when the land was much farther south than today. Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Here it is formed from iron rich basalt laid down well before the upper layers of the magma plateau. It takes eons to weather and oxidize the iron of basalt, transforming it to the brick red of laterite, yet the rocks above it are still dark. The process happens in warmer climates with alternating cycles of rain and drought, for Ireland this was when the land was much farther south than today.

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Lava dikes rise from the water below. Here is a wider view with the “causeway” elements with human figures in foreground.

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