Geology news

Sceptical scientists - expanding earth is nonsense

The Expanding Earth theory must have been getting under somebody's skin as the debate at www.skepticblog.org/2009/11/23/no-growing-earth-but-a-growing-problem-wi... ... appears to resort to the current fashion of attacking the messenger rather than the theory. Actually, there is not a great deal of difference in the Expanding Earth theory than that of Plate Tectonics, in that they are both based on looking at a map of the world and realising that at some point the continents must have been closer.

Water in the Sinai; feldspar in the atmosphere

At http://phys.org/print290325427.html ... there is a lovely image of the Sinai peninsular overlain with the drainage network of Wadi el-Arish. According to a new study the traces of an ancient watershed in the Sinai Desert, from ten to five thousand years ago, is discernible. The Wadi el-Arish was once a major river with tributaries in the early half of the Holocene.

Plate Tectonics and water as a lubricant

At http://phys.org/print290255566.html ... water as a lubricant of Plate Tectonics may be over rated according to geoscientists in the current issue of Nature - following the examination of water in the mineral olivine. Experiments suggest the presence of water actually weakens the mechanical strength of olivine, a key component within Earth's mantle - it is thought. The result is that the role of water within Earth's interior requires a reassessment. In fact, a major reassessment as water is supposed to provide the lubrication to move continents apart.

Antarctica Laid Bare

At http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2013/06/heres-what-antarctica-... ... there are some nice images, erived from computer modelling, of the Antarctic and what it looks like beneath the ice. Trees and vegetation are not included - just the basic topography.

Volcanoes and Cold Snaps

At http://phys.org/print289737797.html ... stalagmites from a cave in Borneo have been used to produce a 100,000 year temperature tool, displaying warmings and coolings during the last Ice Age. These appear to correspond with the various Dansggard-Oeschger and Heinrich events and in general support ice cores (from Greenland and Antarctica). The article was published in Science Express (June 6th, 2013).

Temperature fluctuations in the Late Pleistocene

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/02/multiple-intense-abrupt-late-pleis... ... is a post by Dan Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University (bellingham). There is nothing especially important about it, and it certainly isn't anything new. However, what it does is clarify in a very simple fashion what was going on at the end of the Ice Age, and the five thousand years following it, by using data from Alley (2000) and Cuffy and Chow (1997).

David Pratt (continued)

Excuse me for labouring this particular paper but it appears to have some important things to say which are quite contrary to the current consensus view. The article is a very lengthy one, and turning to page 94 of the March 2013 newsletter (Journal of the NCGT) - go to www.ncgt.org/newsletter.php

Tektite Fields

At http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/the-tale-of-the-tektites/ ... Tim Cullen looks at tektite fields and their distribution. He then looks at them in the context of the Inflating Earth model and makes two radical suggestions - they represent evidence of two massive impact events that caused an outgassing of oxygen and hydrogen from inisde the Earth.

The Inflating Earth

This is a term picked up from Tim Cullen and it epitomises the subject somewhat better than the 'expanding earth'. It is better by far as we are talking about a release of gases from inside the Earth, oxygen and hydrogen. It's nice to know somebody else out there has also been trawling through David Pratt's article at www.ncgt.org/newsletter.php and at the same time finding a lot that is positive - see http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/the-inflating-earth/

A medley of Antarctica, the ITCZ, and geology off the coast of Spain

At http://phys.org/print288877504.html ... Prior to the ice cap Antarctica had a tropical, or a near tropical environment - or was it just temperate? - which is how this piece begins. Not such a good start perhaps and the headline is even more dramatic - the ice cap arrived 33 million years ago. In the Oligocene. However, when we enter the nuts and bolts of the piece we might put the above down to a keen PR piece of prose for the purpose of a press release as it doesn't appear to actually involve dating the ice cap at all.