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Glossary - Pillow lava

Pillow lava

Mounds of elongate lava pillows formed by repeated oozing and quenching of hot basalt. First, a flexible glassy crust forms around the newly extruded lava, forming an expanded pillow. Next, pressure builds until the crust breaks and new basalt extrudes like toothpaste, forming another pillow. This sequence continues until a thick sequence may be deposited. When geologists find pillow basalts in ancient rock sequences, they may conclude that the area was once under water.

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