Geology news

A Broken Back

At ... apparently, a huge rift valley cleaved N America down the middle, one billion years ago - and then failed. Why?


At ... gems made from iradescent ammolite are quite striking - a confusion of colours. The colour and gem quality come from a thin iradescent shell material found in two species of extinct ammonite. You know, those nautilus fossils you find embedded in walls and buildings and which fall out of the Jurassic cliffs of Dorset. However, ammolite comes from a particular locality, a small arc along the St Mary River in SW Alberta in Canada.


Laurence Dixon sent in the link to this information. A super volcano has been found on the sea bed off Italy, at a midway point between Vesuvius (close to Naples) and Etna (on Sicily). It has been christened Marsili. If it blew it would create a Mediterranean length tsunami wave that would devastate a large populated area. The report is coloured by the assumption it sits on the boundary between the African and the European plates, and is in effect, a subduction zone.

A Lost World

I have probably done this one before but never mind. At ... it seems that on the floor of the Atlantic, to the NW of Scotland, there is a submerged landscape with furrows cut by rivers and peaks that were once mountains. It goes back 56 million years ago - and was found by oil companies mapping the sea bed and the sedimentary layers within that. It amounts to a very old fossil landscape to the west of Orkney and the Shetlands.

A Flooded Landscape

Not sure if this should be archaeology, geology, or catastrophism but the link to read is at .... we have what is claimed to be the worlds first prehistoric map of Britain. This ignores the fact Ordnance Survey have such a map, mostly of prehistoric sites mind you, and various geology maps are even older than prehistoric - and well worth having a gander.

Mysterious mounds on Mars

This is at ... mounds of light toned layered deposits surrounded by soft sand and dust are the focus of this piece. The mainstream explanation owes itself to earthbound geological theory. The chasm or scar in the landscape in which the mounds are found was due to volcanic activity - 3 billion years ago. Subsequently, at a later stage, the walls of the chasm collapsed inwards and facturing and faults allowed subsurface water to spill out and pool at the bottom of the chasm.

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.