columnar jointing

(in basaltic igneous rocks) a series of generally hexagonal columns formed by vertical joints as a result of contraction during cooling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
You'll see quartz and feldspar and a great example of columnar jointing that
  forms a natural staircase.
Columnar jointing, as this formation is called, is another result of the rapid
  cooling of magma.
Vertical borings do not disclose the nature of columnar jointing.
Columnar jointing in the lava fans out to meet the canyon wall, staying
  perpendicular to the cooling surface.
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