Not Written in Stone

Link provided by Robertus Maximus. It is the February 2018 newsletter of the AAPG (the Explorer). The piece is written by Keith James a consultant geologist and fellow of the Institute of Geophysics and Earth Sciences at Aberystywyth University in Wales. He has worked with Shell all over the world - and later with Conoco. The piece begins by saying that published Plate Tectonics (PT) teaching is complacent. It should adapt to emerging data, including multiple working hypotheses, and enable students to think.


At (March 2nd 2018) we have a fine image of saucer clouds over Brasilia ....

Water and Moon

At ... how does water change the Moon's origin story? What a beautiful question. Mainstream claims the Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago when an object collided with proto-Earth and ripped out a hot and partly vapourised blob that became a disc of material. It proceeded to orbit around the Earth - and eventually accreted into what is now our Moon. Hydrogen, it is thought, seeped from the disc, along with other volatile elements, and were lost in space.

Red Beds

At ... red beds are composed of aeolian sands - sand waves deposited by flooding (or by tides). These also include sandstone rocks and can be seen on the Colorado Plateau - and various other places, dating from diverse geological periods. The oldest of them go back 1.5 billion years ago (the Proterozoic) and the youngest just 6 million years ago (the Miocene). They are  sand that has been reddened by finely dispersed iron oxides within clay minerals. They can actually be clay stones, silt stones, and conglomerates, and not just sandstone.

Bloat and Float

At ... one mystery of fossilised dinosaurs concerns the armour plated ankylosaurs. They are often discovered belly up. How does this happen? Out of 32 two fossil specimens from Alberta 26 were belly up. A recent study has worked out it was a case of bloat and float. They are usually found in river or water channel deposits and would have flopped over as a result of turbulent water flow.

Giant Hand Axes

At ... a high density of giant hand axes has been dated 200,000 to 300,000 years ago and was uncovered in NW Spain. The discovery appears to show alternative stone tool technologies existed alongside each other - indicating different human populations co-existed in the same general localities. The fossil record appears to support the idea as far as SW Europe was concerned. The tools in question are Acheulian which were widespread in North Africa as much as in southern Europe.

Orion at Stonehenge

At ... in the 1960s a portion of ditch excavated from the chalk bedrock was discovered west of Stonehenge during construction of the pedestrian tunnel by the old visitor centre that was in use up to a couple of years ago (now replaced by a new visitor centre and walk way as the road has been closed). Geophys has sinced revealed the ditch extended for 900m (or nearly 3000 feet) from SW of the henge to a point close to the Greater Cursus monument, NW of Stonehenge.

Mediterranean Mega Flood

This story is at ... a study by an international team have found evidence of a mega flood during the Zanclean Period in which water from the Atlantic poured back into the Mediterranean basin and brought an end to the Messinian Salinity Crisis (5 million years ago). The study was led by Aaron Micallef of the University of Malta and is published in Scientific Reports journal (Feb 2018). The arguments revolve around bore hole data off Sicily, sediments buried in the sub surface characterised as chaotic.

Rainforest Disappears

Gary sent in this one. Go to ... this is just up the street for catastrophists so brave a little read up on what is being implied. The central African rainforest vanished for a period of around 600 years - and then bounced back again. Why? A new study claims humans caused a rainforest crisis as a result of migrating southwards from northern Africa (presumably what is now the Sudan) 3000 years ago.

Palaeolithic Calendar

At ... a Palaeolithic camp site found in the Ukraine in the 20th century is perhaps the oldest known human settlement site known - or is not too far from that status. It dates back 18 to 20,000 years ago. Finds included 2 intricately carved mammoth bones bracelets - which led to an amazing line of research.