Catastrophism news

The year of 365AD

This is the year of a big earthquake in the central Mediterranean area, an earthquake that produced a tsunami wave that caused widespread destruction as far afield as Cyprus and Egypt. It is described graphically by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellus - see for starters

under the water hazels

At ... in February of last year the spring storms near Penzance in Cornwall uncovered tree stumps from between 4000 and 6000 years ago (C14 dates). There are forest beds west of Penzance, at Wherry Town, and to the east of Penzance, at Chyandour. They were therefore submerged either at the 3000BC or the 2300BC events (it would seem the more likely). In addition there are the remains of submerged woodland in Mounts Bay and at Portreath Beach, and also in Daymer Bay.

another submerged forest, this time in the Wash

The Wash is a geographical feature in case anyone reading this is not aware of UK topography. It adjoins the Fens, a vast tract of marshland (now drained) on the North Sea coast, and when Dogger Land was in existence this whole area would have been at a higher elevation to the sea level of the period. There is plenty of evidence, geologically, that the Fens, during most of the Holocene, were high and dry.

Catastrophe at 6150BC

At ... which is the well known Storegga tsunami that was triggered by a submarine landslide in the upper portion of the North Sea, off the coast of Norway. Sand deposits overlie the remains of coastal settlements in both Norway and Scotland. The event is dated at 8150 years ago - right on the button of an event that had global repercussions in climate change and the drowning of Sunda Land in SE Asia.

2300BC and Mongolia

At ... a Chinese and US team have found evidence that parts of Inner Mongolia that were assumed to have been desert for millions of years, were not. The region may have dried up as recently as just over 4000 years ago - which means the 2300BC event may have been responsible (see various SIS articles by Moe Mandelkehr who produced evidence from geology, palaeo-climate, and archaeology for a global event at that point in time - which would have included Mongolia).

the article that never was

SIS was, quite a few years ago now, on the way to publish an article on Dodwell's famous 'curve' - where he claimed to be able to track the last time the axis of rotation of the Earth had changed. The original article, at that time, was in the safe hands of Adelaide University, and his family had expressed the wish that his work was not taken out of context.

typhoon capers

At ... we learn that the devastating typhoon that struck the Philippines in November of last year (2013)was so powerful a wave pushed a huge boulder 9m wide and 180 metric tones in weight, up on to the beach. The story is in a paper read at the December 2014 AGY annual meeting in San  Francisco (prior to publication in a suitable journal). It is said to the biggest known rock to have been moved by a giant wave of water - during a storm.

Back to Front

At ... a group of geologists from MIT and further afield claim there was a major volcanic eruption just prior to the asteroid strike that produced the Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan. Previously, the volcanism has been dated post the asteroid strike - so is this a bit of strained back to front thinking?

Light without the Sun

At ... there is, according to a recently received email suggesting we might take a look at the site, there is a presentation of a new book that seeks to rubbish the idea of evolution. The author claims to have debunked radiometric dating, for example, but then we have various claims that appear to be years out of date as far as catastrophists might be concerned - such as asking where are evolution's missing fossils. He is also at pains to demonstrate, it seems, there was one major catastrophe, the Flood, and that was it.

Milton Zysman

Milton Zysman, when discussing extinction events, said that around 30,000 years ago (please note modern calculations are anything between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago) the Earth reversed its magnetic field. This, he claimed, coincided with the appearance of modern humans and the disappearance of the Neanderthals (in western Asia and Europe). He suggested that electrical exchanges between the Earth and a passing comet was involved in the reversal event. It may even have toppled the axis of rotation, he said, re-establishing itself in an inverted position.