Geology news

The Stratigraphic Record

Derek Ager's book, 'The Nature of the Stratigraphic Record' (Halstead Press:1973) is a geological gem. It is written by somebody who has been described as a neo-catastrophist. Unfortunately, unlike astronomy, in geology a neo-catastrophist is a bit of a wet fish, a uniformitarian who is prepared to accept that natural disasters such as mega earthquakes and big volcanoes may have occurred. The idea that catastrophes with a cosmic dimension have also occurred is not an area they are prepared to delve into - too deeply.

stretch marks

TimCullen is no respecter of settled science and the big wigs that pontificate - and the academics that prevaricate (but some of his alternative views are quite startling) - for example at ... he is his usual irascible self when he says, 'the scientific literature is littered with hypothetical magnetic poles, hypothetical geomagnetic poles, hypothetical geodynamics, hypothetical magnetic reversals and very little of scientific substance.

uplifting times

The sheer power of geological forces is displayed in the picture below, an area of land that was dredged up above sea level during an earthquake in 2010 on an island off Chile


Alaska's glaciers are favoured by the CAGW hype industry, in particular the Juneau ice field which contains 32 of them. A claim was made recently that the melting of these glaciers would add a catastrophic amount of water to the oceans - and we were in danger of drowning (or something like that). However, not all of them have been melting - one at least is actually growing, the Taku glacier. However, the Mendenhall glacier has shrunk and trees have been revealed that have been frozen under ice for some 2000 years (roughly).

Under the Ice

At ...

   a picture of the Arctic Ocean sea floor showing basins and ridges etc. How would it have looked when sea levels differed during the last Ice Age - and the Bering Straits were dry land. How much else of the area was above sea level?

Cold, yet Hot

At ... this piece was on Phys Org a few days ago and has now popped up at Anthony's place. Scientists in Frankfurt, Germany, and Ottawa, Canada, have had a look at the Arctic climate during the Cretaceous era - between 145 and 66 million years ago. The Cretaceous, as most geologists will tell you, was one of the warmest periods in the history of the Earth - when global warming was rampant.

sideways rifting

At ... an international team of geoscientists have published a paper in Nature Communications (May, 2015) which they hope will revolve one of the problems inherent to Plate Tectonics. When South America split apart from Africa between 150 and 120 million years ago, bringing the South Atlantic into existence, the continental margins formed - but they are surprisingly different. You don't get the impression there is much wrong with Plate Tectonics when you read your average text book. These kind of problems are not for public consumption.

Sinai Rift

  This is an image of the nature and size of the Rift Valley from a position in Sinai and looking across the Gulf of Suez to Africa on the other side.

chalk outlier

Going back some weeks ago on chalk oddities, a chalk outlier near Killarney has caused geologists a few headaches. It is described as enigmatic and lies adjacent to the main road between Killarney and Trilee in SW Ireland - but a long way away from the chalk formations of southern England. It was exploited in the 19th century by lime burners but how did it get there, among a landscape of Upper Carboniferous shales and sandstones. One might predict no rational explanation was available - but that did not deter geologists.

sea levels Australia

At ... past tectonic movement in Western Australia is being blamed for coral platforms left high and dry. Apparently, the thinking is that uplift has caused this to happen rather than adjustments of global sea level.