Geology news

Gulf of Mexico Geology

At https://phys.org/news/2019-05-complex-geology-contributed-deepwater-hori... ...  a research paper in Scientific Reports (May 7th 2019) says that complex geology in the Gulf of Mexico contributed to the Deepwater Horizin disaster. Most commentators have, to date, concentrated on the engineering decisions that led to the bow out or the ecological consequences of the oil spill.

Fossilising Processes

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2019/05/the-fossilization-... ... a bone bed in Spain from the Lower Cretaceous is offering up fossilised remains of dinosaurs, mammals, crocodiles, pterosaurs, lizards, tortoises, and fish, which all date back 130 million years ago - at roughly the transition from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous (or thereabouts).

Soft Tissue Fossils

Robert has sent in a number of links recently. This one involves the discovery of amino acids preserved in amber, apparently with an origin in feathers - see https://crev.info/2019/05/amino-acids-amber/ ... where the blog author has an ongoing theme on soft tissue preservation. He thinks it proves fossilisation took place much more recently than the uniformitarian timescale allows. However, transferring millions of years into a few thousand years is not acceptable to most people, either - but in the process he is airing problems the uniformitarians like to shovel under the carpet.

Methane

We learnt last week that Titan's lakes are full of methane rather than water. We also have lots of methane on Earth. Landfill sites, for example, emit lots of methane (which you can see at night as a flame of light). Mount Chimaera in Turkey is an eternal lamp - dozens of campfire sized flames burst out of the mountains rocky sea facing slopes. These are fueled by methane - the same stuff that provides natural gas as a fossil fuel (see http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2019/04/22/scientists-find-unu...   ...

Bone Bed Dakota

The K/T boundary vent is back in the news - see www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190329144223.htm ... in the aptly named Hell Creek formation in North Dakota we have a bone bed laid down by a giant wave - or waves. There is a certain amount of scepticism abroad amongst other geologists and paleontologists - but is that sour grapes. Or is it all just too neat.

Giant Tunnels

At https://www.earthtouchnews.com/discoveries/discoveries/these-giant-tunne... ... strange smooth walled tunnels cutting into rock faces in Brazil and Argentina have long been a puzzle to locals. You can even stand up in some of them. It was thought they were formed by water dissolving rock - but this is contradicted as the walls show they were made by something with very big claws (below) ...

Bingo!

A Chinese fossil trove - see https://phys.org/print472464235.html ... a team from two universities in China and one from the US has partially excavated a trove of fossils from the Cambrian so called Explosion - in southern China. They have also published a preliminary study in the journal Science (March 2019) - see DOI:10.1126/science.aaw8644. The period is best know from a western perspective from the Burgess Shale where internal organs and eyes were preserved. Since then other sites of the Cambrian have been found, all in shale beds.

Graveyard Under Los Angeles

At https://phys.org/print432185795.html ... work on an extension of the Metro system under Los Angeles has found numerous fossilised remains of Pleistocene animals that once roamed the grassland and forest that existed in the Bay area back then -  from mastadons to rabbits, camels to bison and horse bones - to elephant and sabre toothed cats.

Days and Dinosaurs

At https://phys.org/print471074197.html ... dinosaurs were thriving immediately prior to the asteroid strike that decimated them we are told. This is a big step change by scientists who have been telling us for a long time dinosaurs were already in decline from climate change and the asteroid strike simply put them out of their agony. Resaerchers from UC London, Imperial College London, and the University of Bristol claim dinosaurs were not under stress - and far from it.

Earth Blobs

At https://eos.org/features/the-unsolved-mystery-of-the-earth-blobs/ ... sent in by William, the subject being the hot mantle below the crust which appears to harbour two blobs the length of continents. They are at the foot of the mantle - above the molten outer core. The blobs are made of rock as in the rest of the mantle but they are heavier or denser than the surrounding mantle. They were discovered by seismic tomography. Seismic waves travel more slowly through the blobs - suggesting they are dense. There is little doubt the blobs exist yet nobody knows what they are.