Crack and Bang

A crack in Earth's magnetic field this morning and bang, the solar wind drops in ... leaving us with this

Polygonal Poles

Robert sent in this link - ... The spacecraft Juno has come up with data that have surprised scientists. Robert comments, both Jupiter and Saturn show a pattern of polygonal structures at their planetary poles. In his opinion, the Earth does too (a spreading system surrounding Antarctica). NASAs Juno spacecraft shows Jupiter's weath systems extend much deeper than previously believed and the huge planet rotates nearly as a rigid body below racing jet streams, storms, and cyclones.

Storm Emma

William sent in this link. I assume it will pop up elsewhere at some time but have not noticed it as yet - go to ... storm Emma uncovered a fossil forest in shifting sands near Hartlepool. A stretch of sand 400m in length was peeled back to reveal the remains.

Glaciers on Mountains

At ... we learn that the Gobi Altai mountain range in western Mongolia seems to conflict with the mainstream storyline of the last Ice Age. It is more or less an established fact that the northern hemisphere was deeply affected by the Ice Age advance during the Late Glacial Maximum, even though there is evidence of boats being used on the Arctic Ocean and great herds of herbivores were feeding in central Asia and Siberia, and apparently in Alaska as well.

Stalagmite Circle

At ... we have already dealt, last week, with the cave paintings ascribed to Neanderthals, but we now have something just as remarkable - Neanderthals constructing a concentric ring of stalagmites deep inside a cave. In the cave of Bruniquel in France (Tarn et Garonne) they built a circular structure made out of 400 sawn off pieces of stalagmite (but what they used as a cutting tool is as yet unknown). They form two concentric circles - a design we usually associate with modern  humans in the Neolothic megalithic era.

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.