Zealandia Deformation

13 Feb 2020

Time for a spot of geology. At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/02/twist-in-the-story-o... ... 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. What this something might be is not disclosed in the press blurb but one can see it bending towards a certain direction - a massive outpouring of co2. What actually caused the Traps to spew out so much lava is a secondary issue it would seem. Other geologists have suggested an impact event - but mainstream do not want too many of these so the idea has been muted.

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/02/deformation-of-zeala... ... deformation of Zealandia, the Earth's hidden continent. Well, it is now being linked to the formation of the ring of fire - which are an arc of volcanoes around the top and sides of the Pacific, reaching as far south as Indonesia and the various sea mounts now known to exist beneath the waves. Recent sea floor drilling operations have revealed Zealandia experienced dramatic elevation changes between 50 and 35 million years ago. This is a more nuanced idea than mainstream's explanation which theorises a thinning of the ocean crust as a result of stretching as it separated from Gondwana (the super continent that included Antarctica and Austalia etc). The stretching is almost reminiscent of the idea of an expanding earth - but this is another story which is best avoided. In the new model Zealandia didn't do a lot. It cooled and sunk - subsided in geo speak ...

   ... the timing of the sinking of Zealandia is said to coincide with a global reorganisation of tectonic plates evidenced by the bend in the Emperor-Hawaii seamount chain 85 million years ago, the reorientation of mid ocean ridges, and the onset of subduction in the western Pacific region. One might think this is a bit of a cop out as it is assumed in mainstream that subductiondrives plate tectonic cycles. This did not happen to Zealandia, as it still exists, albeit in a submerged manner. It hasn't being sucked down into the Mantle. Geologists don't really know how subduction started we are told by the authors, or come to that, why. Hence, they propose a 'subduction rupture event' which they argue is somewhat akin to a 'super slow earthquake'. The latter concept appears to be a new one. Not just a slow earthquake but a super slow earthquake - gradually dragging Zealandia below the waves. On the other hand it might be a lot more simple, a pole shift (creating the volcanic activity) followed by a redistribution of ocean waters as the geoid changed, flooding most of Zealandia. The big question should be - what induced the volcanism and reorganisation. Surely not another impact event. That would really be upsetting.