Geology news

Fossil Swim Tracks

At ... we are told the end of Permian mass extinction event may even have wiped out marine worms and other burrowing creatures that make holes in the mud on the bottom of the sea. This appears to be an extinction too far - on the face of it. The researchers came to this conclusion as in the following era, the early part of the Triassic, massive reptiles had evolved, and their tracks are preserved in rocks in modern day Utah.

chalk erratics

An article in February's Down to Earth (geology magazine), issue 90, ISSN 0969-3408 ... concerns discoveries in chalk quarries over the years. Most finds are never reported. It is only the odd quarrymen who will bring attention to an oddity, and inform a geologist. In turn, most academic geologists rely on others to do the dirty work, and in spite of this there are a surprising number of erratics in museum collections (donated over the last 100 or so years).

manganese balls on the ocean bottoms

The mystery of the balls of metals found on the ocean floor are baffling scientists, we are being told at

A remote camera revealed the ocean floor is littered with these metal balls, and some patches are remarkably well spread. Entrepreneurs around the world have an eye on harvesting them - and making lots of dosh in the process.

a canyon created in days

At ... the Joumlkuka Fjoumllum river in the Joumlkuka rgljnafur canyon in Icelkand was formed in a matter of days by extreme flooding events

modern civilisation is a civilisation of oil

Modern civilisation is a civilisation of petroleum. Some people think it is a simple thing to shut off the pumps and close down the pipelines and live on renewables.

Plates and Dynamite

At ... concerns the origin of the Canary Islands - which are, like the Hawaian islands, located in the middle of a plate rather than at the plate boundary. In 2011 and 2012 there was a lot of volcanic activity off the Canaries which led to the study. The research found sedimentary material which contained small fossils of the Cretaceous Period - which seems to rule out the idea it was dredged out of the mantle (where volcanic magma is thought to originate).

blow-outs and bumps in the nether parts

At ... it has been suggested a massive volcano that blew around 40,000 years ago led to the demise of the Neanderthals. Benjamin Black, a geologist at the University of California, has explored the issue and found it wanting. The criticism sounds reasonable. What was not asked is what caused such a big volcanic explosion?

ocean circulation streams

At ... we have something that I've not seen anywhere else - somebody questioning the idea of the ocean circulation system, or how it actually works. Between Greenland and Norway an enormous mass of water, according to mainstream, plunges down into the deep of the Atlantic, and travels south along the bottom of the ocean, eventually reaching the tropics once again, where it originated as the Gulf Stream, a huge mass of warm water that provides north west Europe with an exotic marine life that has been exploited over centuries.

the uranium cycle

This is an interesting one as uranium isotopes are used to date rocks and float the geochronological time span. The story is at ... and no doubt some people are inclined to doubt the whole exercise. Never the less it is all part of the Uniformitarian construct and requires understanding by critics and those with just a thirst for general knowledge. Basically, uranium isotopes are used to date the different rocks assigned to the different periods in the geochronology that has been developed over the last couple of hundred years.

Lakes in the Sahara

At ... we have a fascinating story, rock art that depicts people swimming (a sort of dog paddle) - in one of the dryest parts of the Sahara desert. Whether they are really swimming is a matter of opinion. They could equally be flying - almost floating in the sky.