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basalt scoria - maroon basalt scoria from Red Hill cinder cone, Inyo County, California - Unit of 5 student specimens

$ 4.20

Cinder cone volcanos are made of loose blocks and fragments of basalt that have been ejected from the vent. These form a steep-sided symmetrical cone of pyroclastic ejecta. The ejected lava cools as it flies through the air, and is frequently streamlined to form ribbons and almond-shaped bombs. These, along with pieces of scoria and ejecta of practically any imaginable shape, are commonly termed cinder, forming a cone of loose material that is a challenge to climb. It's two steps up as you slide one step back. Once, while climbing this cone and using both hands and feet, I came nose to nose with a snake who was as surprised as I was. It turned out to be an unusual subspecies of gopher snake and was fairly mellow, allowing a close examination in hand.

Scoria is the silica-poor equivalent of pumice, though the large size of the vesicles and its iron-rich basaltic composition make it unlikely to float, except momentarily.

Cinders from Red Hill are being mined, screened, and sold as decorative rock. Just think of Mc Donald’s flower bed rock. The photo shows Red Hill and the associated lava flows, which form the cliff to the right. The Sierra Nevada is the range on the left.
Select a photo and then click on it to enlarge.

 

 

 

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