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Stretching the Crust

27 June 2022

Sent in by Gary – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-10945953/ … and seems to complement the earlier post on David’ Pratt’s article from 2000. The  Paleogene comprises the Paleocene, the Eocene and the Oligocene periods. Hence, what was the K/T boundary is now the K/Pg boundary = the asteroid strike. That occurred around 65 million years ago but the end of the Paleocene, at the boundary with the Eocene, is dated 56 million years ago on the geological column. This, we are told, is associated with an extreme episode of global warming at the same time as an episode of stretching the continents. All dates are uniformitarian and one may wonder how much this event had to do with the asteroid strike – 9 million years earlier. You will see what I mean as we proceed. What might have set the stretching of the continents in motion, which ended in the Eocene with the separation of Greenland and Newfoundland from NW Europe? It sounds very much like another catastrophic event – or the dating has stretched as much as the continents.

The Paleocene is a shortish geological period that is associated within southern Britain and northern France with the laying down of a layer of sand that subsequently evolved into a sandstone formation. The sarsens at Stonehenge belong to this layer. Exactly where the sand came from and when it became a sandstone, is interesting as there are sarsen stones that are shaped at one end, like round blobs. They are called bowel stones as they resemble the shape of bowels within animals, presumably including humans. They also resemble blobs of some kind, and I shall stick with that – stone blobs. There is an example of these stones at the palace of Versailles in France, and somebody must have been intrigued by them. When Louis XVIII, in exile, set up court for around 10 years in Britain, at Hartwell House near Aylesbury, he must have felt at home as there are stone blobs used as decorative features in the garden. They are much smaller than the Versailles samples but nevertheless unmistakably similar. The estate of Hartwell included what had been two or three quarries as it is perched on what is known as the Portland sand. The lake is lower down, on the Kimmeridge clay, as water would not hold in a sandy location. Above the sand is the Portland stone formation [which runs from the Isle of Portland, where it outcrops, right across England, under the ground]. The church is built from this material. How could these blob like appendages to the sarsen formation have formed? It has been suggested by geologists that the sand at the time was like a gel, a viscous form of silica. In that way it resembles the glass like nature of flint, that is also derived from silica. However, sarsens are definitely a stone – but what is viscous? It is a state of being gutinou,a semi liquid, and not flowing freely as in a stream of water. It resembles an outpouring of magma – melted rock. Both appear to have hardened in the aftermath. Another clue are pudding stones which also belong to the same sarsen formation as some of them are more sarsen than pudding. The description of a pudding is derived from a similarity with a spotty dick sort of pudding, suet pastry with dried fruit. The inclusions can consist of pebbles or angular flint stone that the sand has apparently absorbed as it has leaked out of the ground as silica. These stones are known as inclusions. The fact some of the inclusions are angular suggests there was no actual rolling in water involved. It was a localised affair. Geology, it might  be said, is sent to baffle us as in a difficult jigsaw puzzle. It must all fit together and this is how geologists approach such mysteries. A logical process is involved. Although according to the geological column the process took thousands of years, in not millions, once can see the process could equally have been fairly quick. In other words, a catastrophic event may have laid down the sarsen layer quite rapidly.

Is there evidence of global warming in the Paleocene? Well, in a catastrophic formation one might suspect that it would have got very hot. However, the linked research article squarely blames a global warming episode. This might have been a ruse in order to get the article front lined for publication. However, we should not assume it was as pedantic as that as we are told by a professor of earth sciences and the lead author, Tom Gernon, a sudden and massive release of co2 from the earth’s interior created the global warming. It is well known that volcanoes release co2 from the interior of the earth, so that much is unarguable. However, heavy volcanic activity  can also cool the climate. He is assuming that co2 = warming, something as yet unproven. It is of course accepted – yet remains a theory. Once again he may be playing the peer review process. Who knows? Gernon  qualifies his remarks by saying the scale  and pace of the event is very hard to explain by conventional volcanic processes. In other words, it got very hot very quickly,

The meat of the  research paper is that samples of rock from the seafloor show that volcanic activity continued over a 200,000 year period. In Greenland and the Faroae Islands they found rocks that belong to a kilometre thick layer of lava – as well as evidence of a significant increase in the amount of melting of the uppermost part of the Mantle, beneath the crust. The evidence here might be a bit controversial but assuming it is genuine we are talking about the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, long recognised as a period of intense warmth in comparison to what succeeded it later in the Eocene. The volcanic activity accompanied not just the stretching but broke apart Greenland from Northern Europe, stretched apart. How long the stretching process took is based on uniformitarian numbers. We are then told this led to the formation of the North Atlantic Ocean. We are also told it also involved a reorganised of earth’s environment, altering various ecosystems in the process. One may wonder if this involved changes in earth’s geoid? We may also note, without taking sides, that the scenario would both fit Plate Tectgonics and an Expanding Earth. We have the lava with an origin in the interior of the earth. Did the silica also derive from the interior of the earth?

William also sent in a link he came across with a similar kind of connection, but not specifically to the end of the Paleocene. See https://wealtheditor.com/lost-continent-surprise-americans … the existence of a lost continent beneath the Atlantic. Could this be surviving pieces of crust that hung around after the break up of Pangea? At one point we are told the lost continent slipped under Europe and yet they have rediscovered it in the vicinity of Baffin Island, and NE America. The process of the breaking up of Pangea goes back long before the Paleocene. Indeed, back into the Permian.

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