Geology news

co2 blamed for geological change 55 million years ago

At http://phys.org/print300352509.html ... a core sample from New Jersey geology, in a region once beneath the sea (55 million years ago) has clay bands around 2cm thick that appear to have been laid down rhythmically, or cyclic. As such, they were akin to tree rings, providing an annual pulse, a yearly amount laid down as strata. I've heard similar wave patterns in sediments described as Milankovitch periods but annual changes preserved in the geological record doesn't appear to comply with uniformitarian geochronological parameters.

Sahara Dust in the Everglades

This story is at several places with a different emphasis at some of them. At http://phys.org/print300385973.html ... there was an abrupt climate shift in the Florida Everglades at 800BC. Obviously, it impacted a larger region than just southern Florida - but this is where the field research took place. A prominent semi permanent high pressure weather pattern commonly known as the Bermuda High dominated the weather. As a result of the shift  tropical storms that routinely struck Florida moved to the south - the Gulf of Mexico.

First we had a super volcano on Mars ... now we have one in Australia

This story is at http://phys.org/print299837731.html ... this has been found on Ngaanyat jarra tribal territory by the Geological Survey of Western Australia and comprises 450 cubit km of formerly molten magma from a single eruption. However, they claim it was active in access of 30 million years - which isn't quite the same thing.

Dinosaurs in Alaska

Thousands of dinosaur tracks, of different size and shape, have been found along the rocky shore of the Yukon River - see http://westerndigs.org/thousands-of-dinosaur-tracks-discovered-along-ala... These are not imprints, in soft mud that solidified, but casts - fossils of sand and other sediments that washed into fresh dinosaur footprints and were left behind when the outer rock eroded away. They found dinosaur footprints by the score on literally every outcrop they paused at. They were so abundant we could collect 50 specimens in as little as ten minutes.

The essence of catastrophist geology

Dynamical processes in nature take place over a large range of time scales. In addition, subatomic particles decay over a time scale of billionths of a second. Some geological processes take millions of years. Physical science is full of examples of processes that play out over long periods - and short periods of frequency, too.

Erratic boulders in Sussex

This story was in 'Down to Earth' 84, August 2013, a geological magazine that organises a lot of field trips, in Europe and further afield, and has pieces by local geologists in various parts of the UK. There have been lots of erratic boulders found along the south coast between Portsmouth and Brighton. They include granites, syenites, schists, slates, vein quartz, quartzites, sandstones, and limestones, and some of them can weigh up to ten tonnes.

Siberian Ice Age

At http://phys.org/print299760553.html ... conclusive evidence of an ice cap in the Arctic Ocean has been foudn - on the continental shelf system of NE Siberia. The ice cap was so thick it gouged out scour marks across what is an undersea plateau situation - but is dated much earlier than the Late Glacial Maximum (29,000-18,000 years ago). Hence, what has been found is evidence of earlier ice formation - possibly many thousands of years prior to the Late Glacial Maximum.

Was the globe ice free in the Dinosaur Age?

Well, we know from UK geology that the climate during the Jurassic, in central England, was akin to the modern climate of Florida and the Caribbean. Why?

Some geologists think this is actual evidence of a higher level of co2 in the atmosphere back then - what else could cause the climate to warm? What, indeed.

Hokey-Cokey

First you go this way, wiggles around, in out in out and shake it all about, and then you go that way, do the .... which is a bit like the core of the Earth it seems. At http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/300-year-old-proble... ... scientists at Leeds University claim the iron core super rotates (spins faster than the rest of the planet) in an eastwards direction. The outer core, they say, rotates more slowly in a westwards direction, and according to the research it does this as it is responding to the geomagnetic field. The paper was published by PNAS.

Rivers in the Desert

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/plos-pas090613.php ... we have a story about migrations through the Sahara when it had rivers. The full article can be dowloaded in full for free at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074834 'When rivers flowed across the Sahara during the last interglacial? implications for human migration through Africa.'