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Watery innards of the Earth

26 March 2014

Tim Cullen has an interesting post at http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/the-eye-of-nebraska/ … and it's all about water welling up from deep inside the Earth – or that is what it leads up to in a gentle sort of way.

The Ogallala Aquifer lies beneath a huge part of the High Plains. In the northern part of the aquifer is the so called Eye of Nebraska – which is located beneath 60,000 square km of grass stabilised sand dunes (covering a quarter of Nebraska). Temporary shallow lakes and pools are quite common on low lying ground, some of them permanent. According to mainstream consensus it is rainfall that feeds the aquifer – but Tim Cullen is somewhat dubious of this accepted idea. The sand dunes, on the other hand, have an origin in the Pleistocene (Ice Ages) and consensus theory is the sand has an origin in sediment washed out of the Rocky Mountains by glaciation and melt waters, subsequently stabilised by praire grasses. The big problem here is mostly overlooked – the sand bears little resemblance with Rocky Mountain geology. There are limestones and dolomites many km thick but the core of the mountain is metamorphic and mostly goes back to the Pre-Cambrian. Another problem, also overlooked by most commentators, is that rainfall in the region is sparse – especially in Nebraska. It is semi arid. Precipitation also falls mainly in the summer months – when the temperatures are high and evaporation of water is at the highest level.

Tim Cullen looks at the evidence and then delivers his bomb shell. It looks as if the Ogallala Aquifer is 'discharging' itself, via the Nebraska Eye. He then goes on to compare the Eye of Nebraska with the Eye of the Sahara, located in Mauritania. In the Pleistocene this outgassed water, silica (sand) and carbonates, and goes on to blame the Eye for producing the water and verdancy of the Sahara in the early Holocene. By analogy we are asked to think in terms of the Eye of Nebraska producing silica and water in quantity – producing the aquifer below the surface, and the sand dunes above the water. See also http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/liesegang-rings-5-geological-q…

This post may seem somewhat surreal at face value but bear in mind geologists were telling us only a week or so ago that huge amounts of water exist in the Mantle of the Earth (see March 17th). There is no reason why it would not have the capability to outgas itself, by rising up through the crust of the Earth to the surface – or near surface in this instance. One may also note that huge aquifers exist beneath some parts of the Sahara. They were exploited by Gaddafi for example. What Tim Cullen highlights here, is that the origin of sand dunes is open to conjecture – and the assumption that aquifers all have an origin in precipitation (in the modern world or much earlier) is also open to question. In turn, this means the origin of the oceans, assumed to be via extraterrestrial mechanisms (such as watery comets, or dirty snowballs whizzing through the solar system) must likewise be suspect. They could just as easily have welled up from the Mantle – but a catastrophic event would be a necessity to set such a train of events in motion. Hence, it is unlikely mainstream will be embracing such a radical idea in the very near future. It comes with too much baggage that conflicts with consensus geological thinking.

However, legendary material records a watery abyss, even waters rising up out of the ground. Whereas first thoughts might think of sodden ground, much like we had in the UK this winter, and a high water table, as an apt description of a watery abyss – but is it?







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