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Pillow lava

Extra-firm Pillow

This cross-section of a pillow lava shows pockets of whitish carbonate trapped within, suggesting that seafloor sediments might have been folded into the lava as it erupted. The sample is one of the largest intact pieces of seafloor lava ever recovered and was dredged from the seafloor north of the Galápagos Islands during a spring 2010 cruise on the research vessel R/V Melville. The cruise, led by Karen Harpp of Colgate University and U. Idaho and Dennis Geist of U. Idaho, also included WHOI scientists Dan Fornari, Adam Soule, Mark Kurz, and Eric Mittelstaedt. Fornari took the 800-pound sample to Granites of America, a stonecutter in Smithfield, R.I., so that the group can look at chemical changes that occurred during cooling. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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