- the dark, dense igneous rock of a lava flow or minor intrusion, composed essentially of labradorite and pyroxene and often displaying a columnar structure.
Origin of basalt
Examples from the Web for basaltic
Historical Examples of basaltic
They were harnessed to a basaltic car by a single rein of flame.The Infernal Marriage
Of such soils, the first to be considered are those of basaltic origin.Fruits of Queensland
No doubt the basaltic mountains once formed the side of the fjord.Across Iceland
The walls of the outer Alban crater are of peperino, while those of the inner are basaltic.Old Rome
On its outer edge it is fringed by a border of basaltic rocks.The World and Its People: Book VII
Anna B. Badlam
- a fine-grained dark basic igneous rock consisting of plagioclase feldspar, a pyroxene, and olivine: the most common volcanic rock and usually extrusiveSee flood basalt
- a form of black unglazed pottery resembling basalt
Word Origin for basalt
c.1600, from Late Latin basaltes, misspelling of Latin basanites "very hard stone," from Greek basanites "a species of slate used to test gold," from basanos "touchstone." Not connected with salt. Said by Pliny ["Historia," 36.58] to be an African word, perhaps Egyptian bauhan "slate." Any hard, very dark rock would do as a touchstone; the assayer compared the streak left by the alleged gold with that of real gold or baser metals. Hence Greek basanizein "to be put to the test, examined closely, cross-examined, to be put to torture."
- A dark, fine-grained, igneous rock consisting mostly of plagioclase feldspar and pyroxene, and sometimes olivine. Basalt makes up most of the ocean floor and is the most common type of lava. It sometimes cools into characteristic hexagonal columns, as in the Giant's Causeway in Anterim, Northern Island. It is the fine-grained equivalent of gabbro.