Geology news

The Bahamas Platform

Uniformitarian geology is both weird and wonderful - at the same time. Gary Gilligan has sent in a link to ... which begins, the Bahamas may have its origins in iron rich dust blown over from the Sahara desert. Well, a lot of dust does blow in that direction - and across southern Europe (and northern Europe less so). However, the Sahara was not a desert prior to 5000 years ago - so what is going on.

Sand dunes in Antarctica

Earth and Planetary Science Letters 209 (2010) page 30-42 is an article on the age and migration of dunes in Antarctica - they are thought to have been caused by sublimation

Where did all that salt come from?

The Times of July 26th 1970 reported on findings by a group of French oceanographers, and this was that the Atlantic was much smaller in the Jurassic period, 160 million years ago. This is concomitant with continental drift, plate tectonics, and even with the expanding earth theory - so no surprise to a geologist. However, they added - conditions in the embryo Atlantic were similar to those of the Dead Sea in the modern world. It was salty. We may also note the Dead Sea is situated along the Rift Valley system that runs through Africa and the Levant.

A sand extrusion

At ... we have a large body of sand in the northern region of the North Sea basin which is described as extrusive. Where did it extrude from? There is enought sand there to bury Manhattan Island or the whole of London, under several metres in depth. The sand, it seems, vented to the sea floor during the Pleistocene epoch. Does vent imply pump out of the ground?

For some parts of the Pleistocene the North Sea basin was dry land - probably for most of the time.

Water inside the Earth

At ... there is a report on another study that has found an awful lot of potential water between the Mantle and the crust. In January, a team from Liverpool University published a paper on the same subject. In the latest paper, in the journal Science, it is thought Plate Tectonics plays a role, moving water from the Mantle region to the surface (as a result of subduction). The process is hypothetical - and so is subduction, as all this takes place 400 miles below the surface.

Sand ... and Gibraltar

At .... there is an interesting paper in the journal Science that claims a link between climate change and ocean currents over the past six million years. The area studied was the Atlantic at the Straits of Gibraltar. Sea bed sample were taken of the sediments and this indicates, they say, various shifts of climate change. However, it is the thick layer of sand and mountains of mud spewed nearly 100km into the Atlantic from the Gibraltar gateway that is most fascinating.

Lakes in N America in the Late Pleistocene

This is another example of the uniformitarian mind. The findings, however, should not be dismissed - as they are telling us something. The story is at ... and scientists solving mysteries is very often a PR tactic used by universities releasing details of research. In this instance, the mystery is how ancient lakes in N America grew enormously in size at the peak of the last Ice Age 20,000 plus years ago.

Dinosaur Days

Here's one for the kiddies - and the twinkle in the eyes. Chinese researchers have come across a cache of hundreds of pterosaur eggs - flying reptiles with wing spans up to 12m across. It seems they lived in colonies - much like some modern birds. Rooks spring to mind, and budgerigars in Australia. See

Jurassic Mongolia

At ... we have evidence the Arctic was subtropical in the Jurassic and western Europe also had a pleasant enough and warm climate - and now we have evidence that NE Asia too harboured animals akin to a more benign climate than exists nowadays. At the Jehol Biota of NE China the early Cretaceous levels have revealed some astonishing dinosaurs - and evidence of feathers.

Sand ... and arithmetic

Gary Gilligan has been looking at sand once again - adding a bit of arithmetic. The Nubian Sandstone geology underlies a great part of NE Africa and Arabia - as far north as Petra (where it outcrops) and most of Jordan and Israel. He claims there is an anomaly between the uniformitarian expanation on how it formed - from quartz crystals in granite, ground down by endless erosional processes over millions and millions of years, the size of the deposit and the much bigger amount of granite required in order to create the sand.