Geology news

Petrified Candles

Sent in by Robert. At ,,, petrification is a process by which organic material is gradually turned into stone. It is mostly associated with wood. Tree branches and trunks for example found in ancient sedimentary layers - be it sand based, silt, gravel mixes etc. It is mostly associated with ancient geological layers - such as the Jurassic. However, it seems petrification can also occur fairly quickly - and how do we know how long it took ancient wood, for example, to be petrified.

A piece of petrified wood with big implications

William sent in the link to this story at ... and see also ... a rock found in central Mississippi has intrigued geologists. It is actually a piece of petrified wood - wood turned into stone. It was found deep in the ground, in sediments, including gravels, that are thought to be 100 feet deep. Naturally, the wood was dated to the time when the sediment was laid down, during the Pleistocene.

Laramide Orogeny

International Geology Review volume 46 [2004] page 833-838 - the Laramide Orogeny  occurred during Late Cretaceous to Paleocene [80 to 55 million years ago]. You may not that it  encompasses the Cretaceous/Tertiary [or Paleogene] boundar event. One might wonder if the asteroid that was responsible for killing the dinosaurs was also responsible for the Laramide Orogeny, a mountain building episode in North America. It includes the Rocky Mountain fold and thrust belt in Canada and the US. It post dates the Jurassic era - that much is certain.

Melting the Crust of the Earth

Melting rocks require a lot of heat, one might think, or seismic reaction to outward forces - but see ... which is a story that unsettles your average uniformitarian rendition of events in the past. Geologists have been probing a mysterious piece of earth's crust that has largely avoided pigeon holing. A great belt of igneous rock strata stretches some 2000 miles from British Columbia in Canada to Sonora in Mexico, by way of Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Arizona.

Intrusions in Diamonds

Jewellers consider intrusions in diamonds a blemish - and they fetch a much lower price than diamonds that gleam more brightly. Geologists, on the other hand, are interested in the intrusions - minerals that got into the diamonds at some point during the process that made the diamonds. It is in fact a crucial factor as far as Plate Tectonics are concerned - or could be if one or two geologists made a point of pointing out that it contradicted the mainstream geological mantra. See ...

Earthquakes and Volcanoes

It's a bit cold this spring. Lots of heavy clouds in the sky. At ... the long haul we are told. The volcanic eruption on Iceland's Reykjane Peninsular, 20 mile or so from the captial. Reykjavik, looks like it will continue for a long time. Recently. had a spectacular image of aurorae over the volcano ...

Greenland Vegetation

Scientists stunned to discover plants beneath a mile deep of ice on Greenland - the big story of last week. Sent in by William and by Gary. See for example ... and variously ...

Antarctic Magnetic Link to Gondwanaland

Robert sent in the link to ... researchers have magnetically linked Antarctica to its former status as part of Gondwanaland. The eivdence is derived, in part, from ESAs Swarm satellite mission -as well as aeromagnetic data from geological sources. The idea is to reveal the mysteries beneath the massive and thick Antarctic ice sheet. We may note that Gondwana was composed of South America, Africa, Madagascar, the Antarctic, Australia and New Zealand, as well as India.