Geology news

The Watchers

According to the National Seismological Centre at the University of Chile more than 30,000 earthquakes have been registered in the Bransfield Strait, a 60 mile wide channel between the South Shetland Islands and the West Antarctic Peninsular - between August and December of 2020. A swarm  of further earthquakes  broke out between December of 2020 and January of 2021. Why all this hyper tectonic activity?

Is It Coming Undone

Ice Age theory includes the idea  that sea levels drop as ice is locked up on land, a theory that has never really been tested with field data from the around the world. A new paper in the journal Nature openly admits that the Late Glacial Maximum far field sea levels and oxygen isotope proxy records do not fit. There is evidence in the North Atlantic, at this time, of a huge switch in sea levels - but did it have anything to do with the amount of water locked up as ice.

A dip in co2

A dip in coi2 - not now but back then. 214 million years ago. The magic gas strikes again - see https://phys.org/news/2021-02-co2-dip-dinosaurs-south-america.html ... which seems to be another case of geochronology causing problems and confusion. A PNAS study has been looking at the speed of dinosaur migrations in the Jurassic. TGhe sauropodomorphs were a group of long necked dinosaurs that are thought to have first appeared in South America around 230 million years ago.

A Jurassic Rift

At www.geolsoc.org.uk/Geoscientist/Archive/July-2017/OLS-Jurassic-Brexit ... actually, the  first sign of the rift began in the Triassic but it was accelerated in the mid Jurassic. At this time a  thermal dome rose up leading to upheaval as far west as the Hebrides, although the focus of the article is really about the geology of the North Sea basin. The dome was followed, in time, by an upwelling of lava, the Rattray Volcanic region. It was located at the point of a triple junction - between Norway and Scotland, to the east of the Shetlands.

Loess Build Up

At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2021/02/02/unmatched-dust-storms-raged-o... ... another story about dustg. This time, during the frozen landscapes of the last Ice Age. Huge dust storms swirled across the frozen wastes of northern Europe during the coldest periods of the last Ice Age - particularly during the Late Glacial Maximum. This is bound cup again with mainstream theory. This is that loess has on origin in winds sweeping over the tundra and lifting dust up into the air and dropping it down again, elsewhere. It is a theory.

Dust and Monsoons

William sent in a link to this story. It is about scientists trying to understand why it was greener in the Sahara during the early to mid Holocene - quite unlike the desert conditions of today. The study, in Science Advances, can be seen at https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/11/e160045 ... They first tried to model it into orbital changes of the earth as it circles the sun, in order to see why the monsoon track may have shifted, or progressively became less abundant.

Expanding Atlantic

Gary  sent in a link to this story at www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9192955/ ... but you can also read it at https://phys.org/news/2021-01-geological-phenomenon-widening-atlantic-oc... ... but the Daily Mail has more pictures. Apparently, we are told, an upsurge of 'matter' from deep within the earth's crust may be pulling the continents of North and South America further apart from Europe and Africa, according to a new research study at www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-03139-x ...

Geological Resequencing

At https://phys.org/news/2021-01-geologic-history-written-garnet-sand.html ... the eastern edge of New Guinea was or is a plate boundary it is thought and has therefore captured a bit of geological interest, not least because of location in a tropical region. The idea is implanted in the theory that New Guinea and Australia are a single plate [with a few bitty bits tacked on] and moved enmasse from a former Gondwana location, formerly attached to India, and Antarctica, and moved northwards to kick up against the Asian plates.

Doggerland - how did it sink

The headline talks about Doggerland sinking but the meat of the story seems to be a change in sea levels. At www.dw.com/en/doggerland-how-did-the-atlantis-of-the-north-sea-sink/a-55... ... Doggerland, the continentle shelf system of the southern North Sea basin. Was it drowned as a result of the Storegga land slide and subserquent huge tsunami wave or did it succomb somewhat later. This article hints that it survived Storegga and an island centred on what is now the Dogger Bank survived the event for hundreds of years.

Irish Dinosaur Remains

Ireland does not seem to have many rock strata from the Jurassic or Cretaceous and has until now been devoid of dinosaur remains. A story in The Times of London from November 25th 2020 had an interesting piece sent in by Paul. An amateur fossil hunter picked up a black stone from a beach strewn with dark basalt pebbles in Co Antrim some 30 years ago. It went into his fossil collection together with another odd piece of rock which turned out to be petrified bone he came upon a year later.