Geology news

Horses, and more Horses

Another good one from https://notrickszone.com/2019/10/10/during-the-last-ice-age-190-ppm-co2-... ... during the Late Glacial Maximum horses grazed in a forested landscape somewhat warmer than today's Arctic Alaska. In modern times the North Slope in Alaska, now north of the Arctic Circle, has a mossy tundra terrain and an absence of trees. Some 8 to 9000 years ago, the same region had both trees and many animal species that today lie 100s of km to the south.

Ausangate Mountain

Gary sent in this interesting link - from a couple of years ago. At www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/01/21/welcome-rainbow-mountains-per... (and see also https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/peru/articles/the-discovery-of-... ...). Ausangate Mountain in the Peruvian Andes - striped with colours ranging from turquoise and lavender to maroon and gold (or deep yellow). The mountain was holy to the Quechua people of Cusco and is still held in esteem.

Pearls and Meteors

William sent in the link https://eos.org/articles/glass-pearls-in-clam-shells-point-to-ancient-me... ... a story I do believe I noted a few weeks back - but never mind. It is a good one and worth repeating. Researchers suggest that spherical structures, smaller than grains of sand, may be microtektites. The story describes how they reached this decision after going through various other explanations. They were found in fossilised clams in a Florida quarry back in 2006 - so this is no quick investigation. .

Hadrosaurs and Turtles

At www.icr.org/article/11545/ ... Robert forwarded this interesting post - another mass kill event with an out of place dinosaur. Each time a fossilised creature with legs is found mixed up with fossil marine life there is a quandary. When the same situation repeats itself several times over it becomes even more of a quandary. The author of the piece is referring to the discovery of a new and relatively complete skeleton of a hadrosaur that has been found in Japan (the so called duck billed dinosaur).

Plate Tectonics

An interesting post at https://phys.org/news/2019-09-plate-tectonics.html .... where we are presented with a little history of the Plate Tectonics theory. It only goes back to the late 1960s and is therefore a relatively new idea to expalin certain geological features. It assumes the distribution and movement of plates, the uppermost layer of the Earth, is a fact of life - yet it doesn't seem to happen anywhere else in the solar system. Only on the Earth. Are we unique - our geology that is. Can we get our heads around it - truth or fiction ...

Ice Age Savannah

One of the paradoxes of the last Ice Age is the existence of a savannah corridor that allowed animals and humans to spread into SE Asia. The region is now largely tropical in nature but back in the day a savannah environment stretched right across what is now the Malay peninsular, Thailand and Burma, into what was then Sunda Land - or what is now the islands of Indonesia. One complete block of land. The dates concerned are between 120,000 and 70,000 years ago  and explains how humans genetically linked to Denisovans ended up in the region.

Ice cores and volcanoes

An interesting and informative study that explains how ice cores have a volcanic signature and how it is possible to pinpoint specific eruptions - go to https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2019/08/synchronization-of-i... ... during a volcanic eruption, gases, lava, rocks and tiny ash particles are ejected into the atmosphere. The smallest particles are carried by the wind and transported for miles until they drop out on to the surface of the earth - including over the ice sheet on Greenland.

magnetic flips

Gary sent in a cluster of links. For example, at www.space.com/lava-flows-earth-magnetic-field-reversal.html ... which concerns magnetic pole flips and associated volcanism. We are informed the process was much slower then previously envisaged. To arrive at this conclusion they used data from fossil lava flows.

The day the sea invaded the Sahara

At https://phys.org/news/2019-07-ancient-saharan-seaway-earth-climate.html ... in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (summer of 2019) we have a paper based on an accumulation of 20 years of research in what is now the Sahara desert. It is set between 100 and 50 million years ago = the Late Cretaceous and the early Paleogene (on the geological ladder). It concerns what is described as a sea way and the blame is placed squarely on rising sea levels.

Salty Ice Age

You learn something new everyday. A sediment core from the Maldives is said to have preserved ocean water from the last Ice Age. How do they know? It is more salty than modern ocean water - go to https://phys.org/news/2019-05-scientists-ancient-seawater-ice-age.html ... The thinking is that during the Ice Ages lots of water was locked up in glaciers and ice sheets. Therefore there was less water in the oceans as it is known sea levels in the North Atlantic were much lower during the Late Glacial Maximum. Less water means the salt in sea water is not spread around as much = salty sea water.