Geology news

Footprints in the mud

At ... a surprisingly large number of human footprints have been preserved in sedimentary rocks in N America - going back to the Younger Dryas, or shortly before. This seems to make a lie of the idea sedimentary rock is only found over long periods of time - as some of those footprints date from little more than four or five thousand years ago. The processes that changed mud or silt into rock must still exist - and must still be taking place in the modern world.

The Expanding Earth

It is worth having another look at the Expanding Earth theory as it has a lot of things going for it in contrast to Plate Tectonics - and Tim Cullen has a roll of posts on the subject. See for example ... which is a good overview with a lot of  following comments and describes to some extent how Tim Cullen was attracted to the idea - which has been around since Sir Francis Bacon in Shakespearian times, 1561-1628.

Dating the Warming of the Younger Dryas event

This refers to a paper by a German-British team of geoscientists that say that the warming of the cold Younger Dryas period happened rapidly but at different times. In Germany's Eifel region it occurred 120 years prior to when it did in southern Norway See

The Japan earthquake - what caused it?

Well, what caused it is a matter of debate - if you go to Piers Corbyn's web site he predicts earthquakes from solar and lunar cycles, and sun spots. What caused the earthquake is therefore open to question but a whole lot of research articles have been published as the tsunami wave generated by the earthquake was so horrifying for the people of Japan in its path. At ... the earthquake is in effect a landslip at a fault line - shifting by 50m or more.

Geological titbits

A fossilised pair of froghoppers have been found in the act of copulation - dating back to the Jurassic. The discovery, in Chinese Mongolia, indicates forcefully that rapid death and  instant preservation took place.

What's Under the Ice?

At ... I suppose the impetus for this article comes from climate change - is the ice melting in Greenland, can it happen rapidly, and what is the scare factor on the CAGW measurement meter. We have had several SIS articles on this subject where it is equally a matter of speculation that ice sheets come and go more quickly than mainstream allows.


At ... some new discoveries on foraminifera, the tiny shells of sea creatures such as plankton that are an important prop of Ice Age theory - and palaeo climate history in general. These shells hold clues about the composition of the sea water they lived in and Science (Nov 22nd) and Biogeoscience (Oct) provide the necessary news. Sediment cores are used to reconstruct prehistoric climate - and in the oceans of the world this involves the innocuous remains of foraminifera (plankton) shells.

Methane in the Arctic Ocean

At ... (the same story is at and has hundreds of comments to wade through) but basically we learn that methane is bubbling up from the East Siberian continental shelf system in the Arctic Ocean (opposte Ellesmere Island and the top of Greenland). This shelf system was dry land in the Pleistocene, according to some geologists, part of the Beringia complex (now drowned). It is thought to harbour the remains of lots of Pleistocene mammals.

The Long Mynd

Changing sea levels, or a reconfiguration of the oceans, are sometimes to be found in the most surprising of places. Anyone holidaying in Shropshire, about as middle of southern Britain as you can get, cannot help but be impressed by such geological formations as The Wrekin or Wenlock Edge. Another interesting feature is the Long Mynd, a very long piece of upland that stands out of the Shropshire plain like a huge boil. It is quite high - enough to be covered in moor like habitat rather than the rich farmland below.

A shorter history of the Greenland ice sheet

We know it was smaller in the Medieval Warm Period otherwise Scandinavian farmers would not have colonised the edges of the ice sheet and therefore it is capable of shrinking and growing, as it did in the Little Ice Age. Now we have a paper in the journal Geology that claims the ice sheet was much smaller between three and five thousand years ago, in the Bronze Age - see