Geology news

Swinging Sahara

At ... a study claims the Sahara desert swings between lush and arid every 20,000 years, a cynchronism with monsoon activity. This old chestnut has been dusted down and resurrected as it involves the tilt of the earth on the Milankovitch model - and the 21,000 year cycle. It involves an analysis of the laying down of Sahara dust on sea bed off the coast of West Africa - over the last 240,000 years. They claim the Sahara swings between wet and dry at regular intervals, the monsoon system recharging itself with the direction of tilt.

Altai Ice Age

At ... this is a really important discovery in Russia - the discovery of tree stumps dating back between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago, in the middle of the last Ice Age, 600 metres above the modern tree line in the Russian Altai Mountains. Now, what could have caused that?

Thomas Gold

Robert sent in a link to ... with the note, back in the 1990s Thomas Gold wrote about the Deep Hot Biosphere. The link provides a 5 page piece by Gold which begins - 'there are strong indications that microbial life is widespread at depth in the crust of the earth, just as such life has been identified in numerous ocean vents. This kind of life is not dependent on solar energy and photosynthesis. Its energy supply comes from chemical sources due to fluids that migrate upward from deeper levels in the Earth.

Volcanic Mush

At ... volcanoes are not fed by molten magma is the claim but by reservoirs of volcanic mush - areas of mostly solid crystals with magma in the space between the crystals. Earth scientists understanding of the mechanics of volcanoes are based on a presumption - magma being stored in liquid filled magma chambers. These large underground areas of liquid magma have never been seen - in spite of all those clever pictures and graphs you might seen in a book on volcanoes. Surprise - it is all a theory.

Dong Choi

New Concepts in Global Tectonics journal (of September 2018, volume 6, number 3). See and and straightaway we learn the editor is dead. Dr Dong Choi suffered heart failure and Louis Hissink has replaced him. He begins, editorial policy will remain the same, as before ... etc. The journal will continue its policy of political incorrect news, since all scientific theories are provisional and subject to change when new data or observation occurs, rednering the previous scientific explanation obsolete.

Water and Plates

Robert sent in this link to ... which is derived from an article at ... which according to Robert has it the wrong way around. It is not the earth swallowing water but the earth disgorging water (or that is what another study claimed a couple of weeks ago, posted here on In the News).

Origin of Water

Further to the post ... on November 11th we have an article in an Australian source on the subject - see ... which actually is the same story but in a more coherent form. They refer to a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research:Planets by Steven Desch from Arizone State University (which is where this subject started out but was sidetracked by other theories, water from asteroids).

Hydrogen and Water

At ... geoscientists have found that Earth contains within itself six or seven global oceans worth of hydrogen - in addition to all the water in the oceans. Where did that water come from? New research, which may or may not be controversial, from Arizona State University, claims they have found the answer. They say our planet contains much more hydrogen, a proxy for water, than scientists previously imagined. Now it is being asked - where did all that hydrogen come from?

Raising the Land

At ... the 2016 Chile earthquake caused the land to rise on two islands off the coast. A bleached fringe of dead marine algae, strung along the beach, represents the old coastline - as can be seen in the image below. This is what is known as a fault slip.