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Devils Marbles

 photo of devils marbles 

click here for larger photo


Location:

 65 miles south of Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, Outback Australia

known as "Karlu Karlu" by the Alyawarre Aboriginal tribe, translated: "Round Boulders"

The natural processes of weathering and erosion have created the various shapes of the boulders

 

Formation: The Devils Marbles are made of granite and are part of the top layer of a formation which penetrates the ground from below, like little geological islands in the desert, surrounded by large amounts of sandstone.

The granite was formed millions of years ago as a result of the hardening of magma within the Earth's crust.

Thick layers of sandstone on top of the granite exerted extreme downward pressure on the granite.

After some time, tectonic forces caused folding of the Earth's crust in the area, which lifted the granite and fractured the sandstone, allowing the granite to come closer to the surface.

As the pressure diminished, the granite expanded causing cracks to form, and then the larger formations began to separate into big, square blocks.

 The next phase of the formation of the Marbles started when the blocks were exposed to water.

The surface of the blocks began to decay under the influence of the water and a layer of loose material surrounded the individual blocks.

When the blocks came to the surface completely, the loose material was eroded away by water and wind.






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