Geology news

Earthquakes, a Rift valley, and long times ago

At ... research into the Alpine fault on New Zealand's 'South Island' following on from the Christchurch earthquake, has discovered big ones occur roughly at 330 year intervals. The study is published in the journal Science. Such earthquakes have been happening on a regular basis for at least 8000 years.

The strange role of fungi in the demise of coal formation

At ... is a strange article but that might be as a result this site is about archaeology and the subject matter is geology - the coal seams of the world. It begins by saying that 300 million years ago the Earth suddenly interrupted its massive production of coal.

Dinosaurs in Australia

At ... dinosaur remains have been found on every continent and it is known they dominated the planet around 140 million years ago, and yet they are few and far between in Australia. Why might this be so? Now, scientists say they have found teeth and small bones with an origin in dinosaurs, in Queensland. What was the topography of Australia during the Jurassic and Cretaceous?

Polar warming and cooling

A press release from the National Science Foundation - remote Siberian lake has clues on climate change at the Poles. A preliminary analysis of a very long sediment core from a lake in NE Russia, not too far from the Bering Strait, has produced the longest record of changing temperature in the northern hemisphere - going further back than the Greenland ice cores, a mere 110,000 years in comparison to 4 million years.

Some Eemian inconsistencies

At ... the last interglacial episode, known as the Eemian after a river in the Netherlands, differed in unusual ways from the present interglacial, the Holocene. A paper in Geophysical Review Letters reports on some research in the Arctic, dating back to the Eemian, that shows the Greenland ice sheet had melted in a good portion - and it is assumed global sea levels rose as a result.

David Pratt

A post at harks back to David Pratt who outlined some of the problems he thought affected the theory of Plate Tectonics and sea-floor spreading, in Journal of Scientific Exploration 14:3 (2000). A list of 8 objections by Pratt are listed by Stephen Smith who adds, Plate Tectonics does not embrace the Electric Universe. He suggests massive geological changes have taken place within the time of humans - which is a bit of a stretch.

Pole shift on Mars

At ... change in the axis of rotation is Out of Bounds on Earth but strangely not so on Mars. The ESA Mars Express has created a colour image of the geology of a couple of craters on Mars that may show evidence the planet underwent significant 'periodic' fluctuations in its climate due to changes in its axis of rotation.

An assumption of Subduction

Without taking sides this is perhaps an illustration of how science consensus nails the mast down - against all comers. At the title is The Convenient Assumption of Subduction and clearly the author favours the expanding earth theory - but the way he presents it makes you think. He begins with a nice image of global subduction zones followed by a quote from the 'Encyclopedia of Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics' (Seyfert) on page 712 ...

A Walk in the Ice Ages

At the small coastal village of Happisburgh in Norfolk recent erosion and cliff falls have caused large pieces of the face to fall away taking houses and outbuildings with it. An alarming amount of cliff has disappeared in a few years, obvious by the gas and water pipes that hang loosely outside the cliff face and the steps up to the top that are stranded on the beach yards away from the cliff face they once provided a means to climb. Coastal defence in this part of Norfolk has been abandoned - and people have lost their homes.

Volcano growing at an astounding rate

A sea mount north of New Zealand, on what is known as the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone, underwent an amazing episode of rapid growth - in just five days (see It added 8.75 million cubic metres of rock to its summit in less than a week - a volume that sounds a lot but it then defined as 3500 Olympic size swimming pools. It was in effect a volcanic eruption beneath the sea and appears to indicate the sea mount grows or collapses in dramatic pulses - but caused it to happen?