Geology news

Earth Wobbles

At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/nasa-study-solves-two-mysteri... ... and at www.yahoo.com/news/nasa-global-warming-now-changing-earth-wobbles-180545... ... which in The Independent newspaper becomes a headline about global warming responsible for causing the spin axis of the earth to wobble (and no wonder that newspaper is not a viable business any longer and is ceasing a print edition).

Loess again

A few weeks ago we had an article that associated loess formations with water - a river cutting a channel through the Tibetan Plateau and carrying downstream debris from the eroded rock in that part of the world. This was contrary to normal mainstream thinking in regard to loess formation. The consensus view is that loess is formed by wind as the erosion agent. Not water. It was therefore a surprise to find an article based on field research that actually stated water erosion had caused at least one loess formation in China.

drumlins

Drumlin hills, shaped like upturned boats, are an Ice Age land form, well known in geology. However, the use of satellite images and LiDAR (ground penetrating radar from aircraft flying over regions of interest) has shown up the surface of our planet in great detail - and is springing surprises. Drumlins are often found in clusters, sometimes in their hundreds and thousands (mainly in Canada although drumlins also occur in Europe, even as far south as Ireland). They are thought to be footprints of the Ice Ages.

Indian board games

At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/land-bridges-linkin... ... where we have an exercise based on an assumption. This is that India was once an island that was formerly attached to Antarctica and Australia and like the latter it travelled over millions of years across what is now the Indian Ocean to bump into Asia. It was an almighty bump as it involved that part of Asia folding over and over to create the Himalayan Mountains.

Bisti Badlands

  ... the Bisti Badlands are located in New Mexico. At www.smithsonianmagazine.com/travel/these-massive-rock-formations-look-ju... ... we learn the Badlands have pillars of eroded sandstone rock and weird formations that look as so fragile that a blustery wind might blow them over. The giant cracked eggs are on the ground - but they are also entirely geological in origin.

mountain mischief

I hadn't thought of this but as most mountain chains are assumed to be the result of continents colliding causing the crust to fold, how do they get around the odd mountain belt that isn't anywhere near another land mass - such as the mountains in the SE of Australia. Of course, the idea of folding is one of those theories that has got stuck into mainstream as nobody has really come up with an acceptable alternative. It is repeated because geologists feel they have to 'know' why mountains form - and the folding idea is a way to get questions on the subject.

Ichthyosaurs

Climate change is blamed for a lot of things. At http://phys.org/print376640171.html ... and now is is blamed from the demise of the ichthyosaurs - marine reptiles of the Jurassic. However, a clue lies in that we are told the climate 'changed' - avoiding the question, what caused the climate to change dramatically. Catastrophism may very well be one reason - a catastrophic event of some kind.

Jurassic Argentina

At http://phys.org/print375851809.html ... Palaeontologists in Argentina have announced the discovery of a major Jurassic fossil bed in Patagonia - four years after it was first discovered. The site spans 60,000 square km and has an amazing diversity of fossils. Most of them were recently exposed by erosion and can be picked up from the surface (which is why scientists were loathe to make a public announcement). The Jurassic landscape is laid bare, it is claimed, one of thermal waters, lakes and streams with plants etc.

Zanzibar

At http://phys.org/print375437395.html ... alathough the subject of this article is environmentalism and scare mongering about rising sea levels and the extinction of animals, we do learn an interesting fact. Zanzibar only became an island roughly 11,000 years ago. Large animals such as zebra, buffalo and water buck were common but when they were cut off from the mainland they died out - or that is the assumption. It is thought rising sea levels were responsible but is that the whole story. It sounds a little trite. Zanzibar is very close to the equator.