Geology news

Japanese Earthquake

At .... reference to the earthquake and tsunani that struck Japan back in 2011. It was the 4th most powerful sisnce modern record keeping began, generating tsunami waves that reached as high as 125 feet in height. It was responsible for a large loss of life - 20,000 souls. The earthquake is thought to have occurred in a subduction zone (btween two plates). Hundreds of square feet of sea floor luched horizontally by 160 feet it is calculated. Thrusting upwards by 33 feet.

Half Hour Shorter

At ... ancient mollusc shell shows days were half hour shorter 70 million years ago- slap bang in the end of Cretaceous impact event (depending on how you interpret the sedimentary layers laid down as a result of the impact event). The date of the mollusc shell is the intriguing point as it would have lived prior to the Chicxulub asteroid strike (however you wish to date those sedimentary layers, uniformitarian or catastrophist).

A Sea Level Problem

At .... the problem is the mainstream theory to account for sudden drops or rises in sea historical sea levels. For instance, continental shelf systems, including the one beneath the Bering Sea (see image below), was dry land during the Late Glacial Maximum.

Australian Fossil River

At ... which relates to an article in the journal Geology ( ) and concerns traces of a massive river and delta that existed when Gondwana dominated the southern hemisphere. Gondwana included as one continent Antarctica, India, Australia, New Guinea etc. Geologists think the vegetation associated with this river, and in particular the delta region, may lead them to oil resources.

Mega Waves

Sent in by William. At breed-megawaves-in-japan/ ... submarine canyons on the continental shelf system offshore of Toyama Bay in Japan seem to be involved in the huge winter waves that appear out of nowhere - up to 32 feet high. Wave after wave can batter the shoreline, all day long. The waves have been documented for centuries but scientists have been flummoxed as to how they form. The shape of the bay's peninsular allows only ocean swells from the north and northeast to travel inland ...

Zealandia Deformation

Time for a spot of geology. At ... an emerging mainstream consensus view suggests gases, and in particular carbon gases, released by the Siberian Traps, an enormous upwelling of volcanic lava, contributed to a global mass extinction event 254 million years ago. New research seems to have provided a spoiler, putting a damper on the now popuar explanation. Basically, the authors of the new paper are saying that volcanism was a major catalyst - but something extra was at work.

Antarctic Geology

At ... change in the Antarctic from 35 million years ago is said to chronicle past climate change. That is the necessary nod of the head towards the modern equivalent of eugenics as nobody is actually going  to dig through lots of the ice cap to view the rocks beneath. The research team looked at the sea bed near Drakes Passage. This is the body of water that separates South America from Antarctica, but specifically the area between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands.

Biggie Crater

William sent in the link ... which concerns the discovery of a big, if not gi-normous crater, which it is calculated, occurred roughly at the end of snowball earth. The inference is that global warming was caused by the impact when in fact the exact opposite is more likely - an impact event causing a cooling of the climate.

Death of the Dinosaurs

At ... in death of the dinosaurs it was all about the asteroid - not the volcanoes. At last, some realism.  Yale assistant professor of geology and geophysics Pincilli Hull, and her colleagues, argue in a paper in the journal Science, that environmental impacts from massive volcanic eruptions in India (the Deccan Traps) occurred before the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and therefore did not contibute to the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

Horses and Volcanoes

Robert sent in this link too - ... which provides images from the recent eruption in the Phillippines. Robert says the gruesome images hint at the scale of catastrophism required to form fossils. In one image, below, we can see faint stratified layers in the volcanic deposit partiallly burying a horse - which gives an idea how polystrate fossils formed. Various other farm animals were also overcome by the hot ash and people seem to have fled leaving livestock behind. The horses had been used to carry tourists up to the summit for the view.