Geology news

blowing up a storm

Gary Gilligan forwarded the link www.newscientist.com/article/2101518-giant-ancient-supervolcanoes-threw-... ... and www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3564649/the-oldest-crystal-Earth... ... two different stories, one about volcanoes and the other concerning impact phenomena but quite similar in projection.

Fossil Whales

Fossil whales in the Ica Desert of Peru - in sedimentary rocks dating 9 million years ago .... .... go to http://phys.org/print391254364.html ....   

Plate Tectonics Mars

Yes, plate tectonics on Mars - you heard that right (go to http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-scientist-discovers-plate-237303.... ... (alternatively, www.space.com/17087-mars-surface-marsquakes-plate-tectonics.html) ...  An Yin, a UCLA scientist, claims rudimentary Plate Tectonics occurs - just below the surface. Basically, he has studied satellite images beamed back from Mars and has decided certain features look like a fault system, somewhat similar to what he has seen for himself on the Earth in the Himalayas and Tibet.

oceanic crust

Most oceanic crust is thought to be no more than 200 million years of age. This is necessary if Plate Tectonics is a reality, the idea being that oceanic crust is continually being subducted under newly created sea floors. The idea of course assumes the planet has always been the same size as it is now in spite of the universe expanding and gas planets expanding and all kinds of other things in the universe expanding.

Yellowstone Biggy

Jovan Kesic has come up trumps again. He provides the link to www.scientificamerican.com/article/yellowstone-s-supervolcano-gets-a-lid/ ... simmering beneath the hot springs and geysers it is claimed lurks a dormant volcano.

Ancient Tsunami

At http://phys.org/print390032709.html .... work on the M4/M5 junction just outside Bristol (south Gloucestershire) has revealed a couple of bone beds going back 200 million years ago. A Kentucky undergraduate at the University of Worcester analysed samples taken 25 years ago (when the motorway junction was built or upgraded) and she has discovered they were not caused by a single flooding event, as previously deduced, but by more than one transgression event.

Wren Problem

At http://phys.org/print388832074.html ... a DNA analysis of living and extinct species of New Zealand wrens have upset geological theories as it has been claimed New Zealand was completely submerged around 21 to 25 million years ago. It is thought the various species are only distantly related and ancestry may go back prior to 25 million years ago. This is using a uniformitarian time scale of geology and a uniformitarian time scale of evolutionary change.

Greenland's Rivers

   Under the Greenland glacier radar has revealed a web of canyons caused by former rivers. Live Science provided the image on the left and scientists are saying the rives go back over 3 million years ago, when glaciation is thought to have set in. There are of course problems with this idea as the canyons are V shaped (which is why they are attributed to rivers and streams rather than ice melt or glaciers that carve out a U shaped valley).

Plate Tectonics

At http://phys.org/print386928085.html ... in 1966 J Tuzo Wilson published 'Did the Atlantic Close and Reopen?' in the journal Nature, introducing geologists to the idea continents and oceans are in constant motion across the surface of the Earth. This idea became known as Plate Tectonics - a sort of halfway house between the idea of continental drift as espoused by Alfred Wegener and the idea of rigid continents. It ws used to explain earthquakes and mountain building, a sort of all things for everyone, addressing a number of controversies in one fell swoop.

Dinosaur Movements

Scientists at Leeds University used computer modelling of the fossil record to work out the movements of dinosaurs. They used a palaeobiology database to work out migration patterns and it seems in the early Cretaceous period they found evidence (declining fossil numbers and varieties) in Europe and the inference is they were moving out of Europe to elsewhere in the world.