Geology news

Himalayan Odds

At www.physorg.com/print200237328. html there is a report on a geological study into the formation of the Himalayas, the movement of the Indian plate into the Asian plate. The Indian plate was subducted and this in turn led to the creation of the mountain chain as it just kept pushing against the other. The Indian plate also included oceanic crust which was pushed down into the mantle. Now, researchers on the high mountains have discovered eclogites and the samples have been found to contain garnet.

Elevation in the Andes

Along the coastline of South America there are a series of well known stranded beaches which indicate changes in sea level - or seismic shifts. The idea that mountain building in the Andes was recent was popular at one stage because Lake Titicaca, for example, was formerly located at a much lower altitude, it was thought, as it had been a coastal lagoon.

Chile EQ aftermath

Another link to www.physorg.com/print199692636.html comments on geology in South America investigating the February 2010 earthquake in Chile. It ruptured a very long fault that follows the coastline of Chile but its effects on land varies. In the south it tended to cause an elevation of land while in the north the land tended to sink.

A New Greenland Ice Core in the offing

At www.physorg.com/print199550264.html we learn that a drilling team has reached bedrock in Greenland after 5 years of boring through 2.5km of solid ice. What they want are sample from the core dating between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago during what is known as the Eemian warming (the last inter-glacial period). It is thought temperatures were a few degrees warmer than they are now so they want to know to what extent the Greenland ice cap shrank.

Indonesian Geology

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726144011.htm there is a new intepretation of the Banda Arc, a giant 1000km long 180 degree curve in eastern Indonesia which has never been adequately explained. In fact, there has been considerable controversy about how to explain the feature - its origin and evolution. A paper in Nature Geoscience sets out to do just that, using a computer simulation or model.

A tectonic computer model

at www.physorg.com/print198495599.html July 16th ... a group of earth scientists has developed a new way to explain the global movements of tectonic plates on the surface of the earth. For example, the Basin and Range Province in Nevada was created by a plate sliding beneath the North American continent - just 30 million years ago.. This is fairly recent as far as geological time is concerned, and the paper, in Science July 16th, suggests plates in the modern world move at the rate of around a few centimetres per year.

Pliocene Warmth

At www.dailygalaxy.com July 13th ... we are informed, soaring Arctic temperatures may have almost reached tipping point. However, before dismissing this as just another scary tale funded by AGW 'big money' grants, we need to find out why they think the Arctic is so sensitive to what has been so far a minimal amount of warming. It stems from a connection made between the modern world and the Pliocene epoch.

Geo-ablative Melt

A new post at http://craterhunter.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/fire-cloud-rocks/ is basically an update on ignimbrites - as perceived by the author. The word ignimbrite means something like 'fire cloud rock' but he goes on to say they were produced by thermal explosive processes of extraterrestrial origin. Volcnic Tuff and Impact Melt are two examples of ignimbrites but he wishes to add a third - with an origin in blast.

Earthquake synchrony

At www.physorg.com/print196090397.html we are informed that in nature random signals often fall mysteriously in step, one after the other. Fireflies flashing sporadically in the early evening have a tendency to flash in unison, or very closely after each other - flashing in bunches, and a similar harmonic behaviour can be conjectured while listening to crickets (grasshoppers) or even swinging clock pendulums.

Rare Earth Elements

At www.livescience.com/technology/Rare-Earth-Elements-100614.html June 15th ... mentions the recently discovered mineral wealth of Afghanistan, worth an estimated one trillion dollars. These include rare earth elements such as dysprosium, erium, and ytterbium which are found concentrated in ores and these and other strangely named elements are used in computer hard drives, TV screens, and smartphones, LED lights, and magnets in electronics, wind turbines and hybrid cars etc.