Geology news

Breaking Plates

At ... In this article we are told that it is well understood that volcanoes and earthquakes can be explained by the 50 year old theory of Plate Tectonics. This theory claims earth's outer shell, or lithosphere, is subdivided into plates that move relative to each other, concentrating most tectonic activity along the plate margins. Surprisingly, we are then told, the scientific community have no firm concept on how plate tectonics began.

Update on Storegga

Clarification on the recent piece from the Daily Mail. The actual study does not mention climate change at all and has been inserted by the Daily Mail journalist, or an editor. It may of course have been inserted by whoever released the press story to the media. The full paper can be read at ... The event has nothing to do with climate change and is purely a geological phenomenon.

Carnian Pluvial Episode

The word pluvial is usually associated with water - a watery environment. The Wranglia is a large igneous province that spewed out lots of greenhouse gases - or volcanic gases to be more exact. Climate shifted in association with the Wranglia, leading eventually to a warmer world that was wetter, and humid. This was the Carnian Pluvial Episode. So, we have a massive tectonic event and evidence of a watery landscape. Where might we have heard that before. See ...

Lava Tubes

At ... why lava tubes should be a priority when visiting other planets. When magma comes out of the innards of the earth it flows as lava - liquid rock. The process has created some unusual land forms, such as lava tubes. These can be large affairs and several km in length. The Kazamura Cave on Hawaii is 46 miles long. Lava tubes seem to have formed on the moon - and on Mars. Several thousand cave entrances have been catalogued,  many of which may be lava tubes. NASA has been busy with a camera.

Plate Tectonic Change

At ... plate tectonics research rewrites the history of earth's continents, we are told. Or is it a bit of jiggery pokery with the hypothesis - playing around at the edges instead of jumping in full throttle. Curtin University has found some evidence to suggest the earth's first continental assemblage was not formed by subduction as in a modern plate tectonics manner. It was created by a different process, is the claim, contradicting the generally accepted idea.


William sent in a link to ...but see also ... this concerns the conflict of interest between geologists over the K/T event. Was it the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs or was it volcanism. This new study favours the asteroid.

Zealandia Geophysics

A new interactive map of the lost continent of Zealandia has been produced - see ... the map allows viewers to explore the geoscience data that shows the bathymetry and tectonic origins of the earth's eighth continent. It is a largfe area of submerged continental crust that became submerged around 23 million years ago, it is said.

Insects and Geology

Is this biology or is it geology. Bit of both. At .... the discovery of a tiny insect fossil is said to uncover a history of global movements of animals and the shifting continents across deep time. The 50 million year old fossil was found near Kamloops in Canada but in the modern world its descendants live in Australia. The problem with the press release here is that 50 million years ago is not  deep time and is post-K/T boundary and therefore post Pangea.

Coal Burning Climate Change

This one was sent in by William but I've found the following three links ... at ... which comes with lots of comments, some of which are useful. The story is about coal contributing to the Permian/Triassic boundary event as a result of persistent volcanism in Siberia (which according to uniformitarian geology continued over many hundreds of thousands of years, even millions of years according to some geologists). See also ...

Ocean Crust Waves

Robert also sent in a link to ... the search for the missing plane, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in the Indian Ocean back in 2014, led to a long and  detailed search of 18,000 square km around the SE Indian Ridge, west of Australia. They didn't find the aeroplane but they did produce a series of sea floor maps that found a geological puzzle previously unknown.