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|Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast *|
|Country||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|Region **||List of World Heritage Sites in Europe|
|Inscription||1986 (10th session Session)|
It was named and a National Nature Reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giant's Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom.
The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres (36 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres thick in places.
Some 50 to 60 million years ago, during the Palaeogene period, Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity, when highly fluid molten basalt intruded through chalk beds to form an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled rapidly, contraction occurred. The size of the columns is primarily determined by the speed at which lava from a volcanic eruption cools. The extensive fracture network produced the distinctive columns seen today. The basalts were originally part of a great volcanic plateau called the Thulean Plateau which formed during the Paleogene period. Parts of this plateau can be found in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Norway, as well as at Fingal's Cave.
- Placenames Database of Ireland
- UNESCO, "Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast"; retrieved 2012-4-19.
- Report of poll result BBC.co.uk Retrieved 10 December 2006.
- Northern Ireland Tourist Board (2008). "Giant's Causeway remains Northern Ireland's Top Attraction". Press release. http://www.nitb.com/DocumentPage.aspx?path=b019d219-34a1-48eb-8e21-900525c4e543,b863bc15-f1a4-4c29-bb52-0a82ba59257c,4870b6cb-ec7f-4a61-8cae-027c591c188b,aaab5041-6a69-414e-8406-5eeedd548382,1a3ca69c-3386-46b4-93eb-5239112cc00e,6645f4a7-a521-4858-817f-a6af1a709454. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- "Giant's Causeway and Causeway Coast". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/369. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- "University of Toronto (2008, December 25). Mystery Of Hexagonal Column Formations". http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216104325.htm.
- Geoffroy, Laurent; Bergerat, Françoise & Angelier, Jacques 1996. "Brittle tectonism in relation to the Palaeogene evolution of the Thulean/NE Atlantic domain: a study in Ulster". Geological Journal 31 (3): 259–269. . http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/61005289/ABSTRACT. Retrieved 2007-11-10.