Geology news

The Cambrian Explosion

In neo-catastrophism the Cambrian Explosion of Life is not a problem as the rock record is perceived as primarily a record of disasters (catastrophes) and not a spread sheet of uniformitarian progress over time - a book that is opened page by page. At ....

Subduction Processes

At ... a possibly revealing post on the processes occurring at the junction of tectonic plates - in particular subduction zones where one plate is sliding under another. This is thought to be responsible for volcanism and deep earthquakes. It is also clearly a hypothesis as in the next paragraph it reads, many aspects of subduction are still poorly understood and research is critical to understanding where such orces could lead to human disasters (a reference I suppose to the Boxing Day Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami).

If at first you don't succeed, raise the profile

At ... the West Antarctic ice sheet existed 20 million years earlier than previously thought runs the headline but how do scientists arrive at his kind of bald statement?

A super douper volcano

At ... the Tamu Massif lies one thousand miles east of Japan and it is a giant volcano that has left its innards spread accross the sea floor, over an area the size of the British Isles, or New Mexico. There are even bigger volcanoes on Mars but the Tamu Massif is regarded as the largest one on Earth.

The Gorge under the Ice

At ... J Bamber of Bristol University and chums have uncovered a large canyon while mapping Greenland's sub glacial terrain with ice penetrating radar. The Gorge is 800 metres deep and stretches from central Greenland to the island's NE coast. How does this affect ice cores?

Glaciers in the mountains of Iberia during the Ice Age

An interesting piece of research from Spain - see ... the facts on the ground don't appear to fit the assumed picture. Mountain glaciers reached a maximum at 26,000 years ago (in Iberia) but the maximum spread of the northern ice sheet occurred at 20,000 years ago - a 6,000 year difference. Why is this?

So, what was happening - was the maximum extent of the ice sheet really at 20,000 years ago or has ice sheet extent been compromised and not all that evidence is due to ice. Might water better explain some of the erratics and gravels, etc.

A giant sink hole

A parish in Lousiana is being swallowed by a sink hole (sometimes known as swallow holes because they swallow objects). At ... there is a video of the sink hole in action. It is 25 acres across and is still growing. It may have an origin in local mining or an unstable salt cavern (with some seismic activity added to the brew). The US Geological Survey people determined that the collapsing solt cavern was responsible for the earth tremors and not the other way around.

Sea floor vent described as a huge bulls eye

Bearing in mind some of the things blogged at Malaga Bay the following is interesting - see (the same story is at Science News and Science Daily, and no doubt various other blogs). A huge ocean plume being emitted from a sea floor vent in the South Atlantic is emitting large quantities of iron and manganese, and other micronutrients. The plume from the vent is 1000km in length and is clearly anomalous - as no such vents had previously been found in that situation.

Canyons carved by Climate Change

This climate change malarkey has now migrated to the Pliocene period, and it is said to lie at the root of canyons formed on the Andes Plateau in Peru and Bolivia. Canyons are viewed by uniformitarian geologists as a proxy for uplift and tectonic processes. Here we have one of those interpretation problems caused, it would seem, by the geochronological framework rather than by fact, and the enormous amounts of time postulated as elapsing between one strata of rock and the one above it. An in-house anomaly you might say - like creative accountancy.

Rocks that aren't so old

At and ... iron ore deposits in the Pilbara region of Australia are between 26 and 2 million years of age - much younger than most of the similar geological formations, and this is using uniformitarian methodologies based on decay rates. The iron ore was laid down in the Miocene - iron rich sediments accumulating at the bottom of ancient river channels (over tens of millions of years, they claim).