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geological zeal

1 August 2015

At http://phys.org/print357568614.html … lots of geological mapping took place in the 19th and 20th century (in the US), somewhat before the Plate Tectonics consensus hypothesis saw the light of day. Geologists with great zeal, missionaries guiding the young 'uns, so to speak, have set their sights on modifying old geological data because they claim it has been neutralised by Plate Tectonics. They say much of North America is the equivalent of terra incognito, and should be shown as a white space on geology maps rather than the various colours used for basement rock. As an example they have chosen the Piedmont/ Blue Ridge area to make their point, an area of Virginia that they say was once at a plate boundary – an extremely long time ago. Why this might impact on geological maps is unclear as they are supposed to be useful constructs for engineers when planning routes for highways, pipelines, and overhead power cable installations etc. The Piedmont is where N America met Africa (according to Plate Tectonics and computer programmes that shift blocks of land around the globe, even bits currently positioned securely within continental land masses). The rocks on the western side of the Piedmont is more deformed than rocks on the eastern side and this is taken to represent evidence of one plate sliding beneath another – or folding in the process. They say a super continent split apart depositing some of the rock in the Piedmont – taking place long before the continents came together to form Pangaea. Previously these rock formations have been interpreted as lava oozing out from a tectonic disturbance. Earth's plates have been continuously on the move, it is claimed, pulling apart the rocks – and then joining them together again in different sorts of composition.

Modelling is also fueling another piece of geological research – the idea of magnetic reversals. Earth's magnetic field strength, it is alleged, has dropped by 16 per cent since AD1840, and we are supposed to be in the early throes of a reversal (horror of horrors). This peculiar idea is not, as yet, at doomsaying level as uniformitarianism reckons the whole process takes 15,000 years – so we have a while to go. Of course, if reversal events were more rapid, instigated by catastrophes of some kind, the doomsaying would be more potent. In this instance the doomsayers can do nothing to upset the mainstream consensus view of the timescales involved – but wait a while and they will be back to bite us from behind. See http://phys.org/print357288365.html for the story

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