Geology news

The Bahamas

At https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/37061/the-bahamas/ ... from NASA Eareth Observatory - east of Florida large swathes of the ocean glow peacock blue. They are this irridesence due to their shallow depths. The under water terrain is hilly and the crests of some of those hills comprise the islands of the Bahamas. In 2009 clear skies allowed NASAs Aqua satellite to take the picture below ...

Fossil Trove Colorado

This one is quite good and has even been picked up by Clark Whelton (on his email list). At https://phys.org/news/2019-10-fossil-trove-life-fast-recovery.html ... and concerns a fascinating fossil bed being investigated in Colorado which is said to date from not long after the K/T boundary event (which with a bit of twitching might even be said to have been laid down at the same time).

Iron Pyrites

This is a peculiar one - and comes courtesy of https://phys.org/news/2019-10-shelf-life-pyrite.html ... where we are informed the glacial cycles of the last couple of million years - a succession of cold periods interspersed with warm interglacials - may have an origin in the weathering of pyrite rocks. For knowledge of what pyrite actually is go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrite ... where we are told the mineral pyrite (also known as iron pyrites and quite commonly found in geological formations, including sediment layers). It is also known as fools gold and can form crystals.

Horses, and more Horses

Another good one from https://notrickszone.com/2019/10/10/during-the-last-ice-age-190-ppm-co2-... ... during the Late Glacial Maximum horses grazed in a forested landscape somewhat warmer than today's Arctic Alaska. In modern times the North Slope in Alaska, now north of the Arctic Circle, has a mossy tundra terrain and an absence of trees. Some 8 to 9000 years ago, the same region had both trees and many animal species that today lie 100s of km to the south.

Ausangate Mountain

Gary sent in this interesting link - from a couple of years ago. At www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/01/21/welcome-rainbow-mountains-per... (and see also https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/peru/articles/the-discovery-of-... ...). Ausangate Mountain in the Peruvian Andes - striped with colours ranging from turquoise and lavender to maroon and gold (or deep yellow). The mountain was holy to the Quechua people of Cusco and is still held in esteem.

Pearls and Meteors

William sent in the link https://eos.org/articles/glass-pearls-in-clam-shells-point-to-ancient-me... ... a story I do believe I noted a few weeks back - but never mind. It is a good one and worth repeating. Researchers suggest that spherical structures, smaller than grains of sand, may be microtektites. The story describes how they reached this decision after going through various other explanations. They were found in fossilised clams in a Florida quarry back in 2006 - so this is no quick investigation. .

Hadrosaurs and Turtles

At www.icr.org/article/11545/ ... Robert forwarded this interesting post - another mass kill event with an out of place dinosaur. Each time a fossilised creature with legs is found mixed up with fossil marine life there is a quandary. When the same situation repeats itself several times over it becomes even more of a quandary. The author of the piece is referring to the discovery of a new and relatively complete skeleton of a hadrosaur that has been found in Japan (the so called duck billed dinosaur).

Plate Tectonics

An interesting post at https://phys.org/news/2019-09-plate-tectonics.html .... where we are presented with a little history of the Plate Tectonics theory. It only goes back to the late 1960s and is therefore a relatively new idea to expalin certain geological features. It assumes the distribution and movement of plates, the uppermost layer of the Earth, is a fact of life - yet it doesn't seem to happen anywhere else in the solar system. Only on the Earth. Are we unique - our geology that is. Can we get our heads around it - truth or fiction ...

Ice Age Savannah

One of the paradoxes of the last Ice Age is the existence of a savannah corridor that allowed animals and humans to spread into SE Asia. The region is now largely tropical in nature but back in the day a savannah environment stretched right across what is now the Malay peninsular, Thailand and Burma, into what was then Sunda Land - or what is now the islands of Indonesia. One complete block of land. The dates concerned are between 120,000 and 70,000 years ago  and explains how humans genetically linked to Denisovans ended up in the region.

Ice cores and volcanoes

An interesting and informative study that explains how ice cores have a volcanic signature and how it is possible to pinpoint specific eruptions - go to https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/08/synchronization-of-i... ... during a volcanic eruption, gases, lava, rocks and tiny ash particles are ejected into the atmosphere. The smallest particles are carried by the wind and transported for miles until they drop out on to the surface of the earth - including over the ice sheet on Greenland.