Geology news

A big lump of sand in the North Sea

A ten cubic km wedge of sand now exists in the northern North Sea basin, somewhat south of Norway and east of Scotland, enough to bury Manhattan island under 160m of sand or the whole of London under 6m of sand (and that is an awful lot of the stuff). It appears to be extrusive - rising up from the gizzards of the earth. The paper is in the journal Geology March 19th but the big question might be - if sand is formed from eroded rocks why was so much of it buried under the sea floor?

Global Sea Levels

Global sea levels are pretty well flat at the moment but a paper in the journal Geology is not at all discouraged by this and assures us one and all that they are set to rise by 40 to 70 feet - see www.physorg.com/print251376839.html. Part of the research was done on a coral atoll in the Pacific and some of it in the seismically active area of New Zealand and soil cores taken from Virginia were also used - but it is unclear if any of this has a bearing on the conclusions.

Sicily to Tunisia

In a book picked up from a charity shop, Art and History of Egypt by Alberto Carlo Carpiceci, it begins with some extraordinary geological information on the Mediterranean basin. The Italians would be more concerned with this part of the world than people over against the Atlantic seaboard. It says that in the Palaeolithic era the Mediterranean Sea was cut into two basins - divided by a tongue of land that joined Tunisia and Italy, the islands of Malta being a remnant.

Subduction

The Mariana Trench in the Pacific has been mapped (mentioned in an earlier piece) with ultrabeam sounding technology and scientists, subsequently, have measured the depth - roughly 11000m. However, it is the discovery of four bridges spanning the trench that is most surprising and they are thought to be caused by one plate descending into the hole and becoming snagged when the sea plate subducting has sea mounts. There are lots of sea mounts on the Pacific plate and are as much as 2500m high.

The Moon and Tidal Rhythmites

Gary has sent in details of a paper that can be found at www.eos.ubc.ca/~mjelline/453website/eosc453/E_prints/1999RG900016.pdf which has the subject of 'tidal rhythmites' - an interesting subject from a uniformitarian and a catastrophist angle.

Conifers in the far north that survived the Ice Age

This story is at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301143737.htm and begins by saying that it has been assumed that the last Ice Age denuded the Scandinvian landscape of trees until the milder weather of the Holocene kicked in and trees seeded themselves back into the region from somewhere in the south. A paper in Science says this might not actually be true and there were ice free pockets or refuge areas where spruce and pine trees survived - to reseed the areas covered by the ice sheet.

Oxygen Isoptopes

The paper reviewed on the post in front of this (today) at http://notrickszone.com/2012/03/02/emphatic-blow-to-co2-warmists-new-stu... uses high resolution foraminifera based sea temperature data (the shells of plankton) as well as salinity and upper water stratification reconstructions off Cape Hatteras, a region sensitive to thermahaline circulation changes associated with the Gulf Stream.

A fossilised forest

Yes, a whole fossil forest has been discovered - going back millions of years. It was found in the Catskill Mountains in upper New York State and there are hundreds of tree stumps preserved in a sedimentary rock formation that was cut into by quarry workings - see www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120229140825.htm. The site is near Gilboa Dam and the forest has taken that name. However, the quarry was back-filled a few years ago but in 2010 it was partially re-opened by construction workers at the dam - and in moved the geologists for a closer look, hot on the heels of the workmen.

Earthquakes and Magnetic Stripes on the Sea Floor

Presentation of science to Joe Public is often jazzed up - in books, on TV and in museum displays and the classroom. Take, for example, sea floor spreading (see page 3 at www.newgeology.us/presentation25.html). We are all familiar with the pattern of stripes on the Atlantic sea bed radiating out from the Mid Ocean Ridge. There are diagrams and drawings that have been somewhat set to create that piano key pattern of striping.

From Dartmoor to the Scillies, one slab of granite

In the 'Sunday Times Book of the Countryside' (1983) there is a very nice diagram of the SW peninsular (Cornwall and Devon). It seems that one giant block of granite rises from a single core, or batholith - which reaches down to an unknown depth below the surface. The upper parts of the granite slab protude from the surface on Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, the hills around St Austell, Lands End ... and the Isles of Scilly.