Publication Date: 
Mon, 2011-11-28 23:28

Often it is black and liquid and oozes out to cover vast areas solidifying into black sharp rocks known locally as “harrats.”
Very rarely, a more explosive volcano, such as Jabal Abyad (White Mountain), erupts. Jabal Abyad, at 2,093 meters in Harrat Khyber, is the Kingdom’s highest volcano, and close by stands Jabal Bayda, its sister white ash cone, at 1,913 meters.
A couple of kilometers to the north stands Jabal Qidr, a graceful symmetrical cone and consisting of night-black basalt. This cone poured out a black basaltic flow that moved southwards toward the white cones and stopped just after penetrating their ash fields.
The point at which they meet is so distinct that it is possible to stand astride it, one foot in ash, the other on basalt.
As a tourist spot in the deep rocky desert north of Madinah, it has a harsh, wild beauty that is redolent of the times when the planet was still in the process of formation. Very difficult to get to, as the terrain is very hard on even the toughest ground vehicles, tourists are rewarded by a trip back in time, the nearest they will get in Saudi Arabia to the engines of the planet, the huge tectonic forces that move continents.

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