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Mathematicians May Have Figured Out How ‘Stone Forests’ Form [arstechnica.com]:
wondrous geologic formations in nature, from Giant's Causeway [wikipedia.org] in Ireland to Castleton Tower [arstechnica.com] in Utah, and the various processes by which such structures form is of longstanding interest for scientists. A team of applied mathematicians from New York University has turned its attention to the so-called "stone forests" common in certain regions of China and Madagascar. These pointed rock formations, like the famed Stone Forest [wikipedia.org] in China's Yunnan Province, are the result of solids dissolving into liquids in the presence of gravity, which produces natural convective flows, according to the NYU team. They described their findings in a recent paper [pnas.org] published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.