australiaThe locals are rather excited that it’s snowing in @tasmania! ❄️ There’s been a recent snowfall at #CradleMountain, and this teenage Tasmanian devil certainly seemed rather surprised to feel the chilly snowflakes falling from the sky. This little fella lives at @devilsatcradle, which is located on the doorstep of the beautiful Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park in @tasmaniasnorthwest. This wildlife conservation facility is open to the public, and the dedicated team here focuses its efforts on conserving and protecting the endangered Tasmanian devil along with the eastern and spotted-tailed quoll.
Hoary with age, these patterns look like fields separated by dry stone walls submitting to a rising ocean. They are however an entirely geological phenomenon called tessellated pavement, caused by the interaction between erosion and the joints that form naturally in rocks as they are slowly uncovered and the pressure from the disappeared overlying rocks releases. The lower rocks then expand and split, sometimes in amazing geometrical forms like these orthogonal joint patterns.
-Dolerite is a term for basaltic igneous rocks that have just started to grow crystals. It’s very common on Tasmania due to the island having rifted away from Australia - opening oceans tends to cause volcanic rocks to form, justlike at the mid-ocean ridges. These also break into columns and can fall apart after cooling. Note the foot for scale.
Travel along with a group exploring the island of Tasmania from the ground and from the air. Many of the rocks seen in this shot, particularly those with vertical patterns to them, are showing weakly developed columnar jointing - they’re igneous rocks formed as Tasmania was rifted away from the rest of Australia.