Rapid Uplift

geology, evolution and a changing planet

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How Old Is Plate Tectonics? Signals From The Mantle

A recent study has used the geochemistry of Archean basalts and komatites to suggest that plate tectonics began by 3.2 billion years ago. The chemical composition of these two volcanic rocks points to active transfer of elements from the crust into the deep mantle by this time. The authors argue that this mass transfer from surface to the interior can...

Infographic: Reefs Through Geologic History

Academia.edu is always sending me links to papers that I can download. It is a lure to get me to upgrade my membership. I am grateful for the riches that I have discovered on their site.Last week they sent me a gem-  Palaeoecology: Past, Present and Future by David J. Bottjer. It is a full length book on the field of paleoecology summarizing its scope,...

Punctuated Equilibrium Is About Small Subtle Changes

The theory of punctuated equilibrium (PE) put forth by paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould proposes that morphological evolution speeds up during lineage splitting events when new species form. In practice, a paleontologist sampling fossil species in a sedimentary section will find that a species over its lifetime does not show any...

Magmas And Mass Extinction: Late Triassic

A new study on the synchronicity of igneous activity and the Late Triassic mass extinction which occurred around 201.5 million years ago.Large-scale sill emplacement in Brazil as a trigger for the end-Triassic crisis- Thea H. Heimdal, Henrik. H. Svensen, Jahandar Ramezani, Karthik Iyer, Egberto Pereira, René Rodrigues, Morgan T. Jones & Sara Callegaro....

Readings: Human Evolution, Ice Ages, Brains In Digital Age

Some interesting articles to read:1) How did Homo sapiens evolve in Africa? Did one population branch off and evolve all the traits of 'modern humans' in isolation or were there several populations spread across the continent which at times evolved in isolation but periodically met and exchanged genes and cultural practices, resulting in a gradual coming...

Books: Tree Story, Rivers of Power

A friend pointed out these two books.1) Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings by Valerie Trouet.Review: "Trouet, a leading tree-ring scientist, takes us out into the field, from remote African villages to radioactive Russian forests, offering readers an insider's look at tree-ring research, a discipline formally known as dendrochronology....

An Outing With William Smith

I have started reading Roger Osbourne's The Floating Egg: Episodes in the Making of Geology.It tells stories set mostly in the 1800's from the Yorkshire region of England of people involved in exploring landscapes, discovering fossils, and slowly constructing a systematic science of geology. The story of James Hutton's insight that the earth was really...

Review Papers: Geodynamical Evolution Of India

Episodes, Journal of International Geoscience, has an open access special issue on the geology of the Indian subcontinent.Excellent source for teachers, researchers, and curious science lovers.I liked the paper on Deccan Volcanism a lot, especially the emphasis and attention given to the physical properties of the lava flows, and the problems of correlating...

Palghar Earthquake Swarm

My article on Palghar's mystery earthquakes has been published in The Wire Science. The article is an explanation of a recent paper that was published in the journal Tectonophysics. It favors the view that groundwater circulation is causing slippage along faults. According to the scientists involved the earthquakes are due to these very local processes.One...

Articles: Dehradun, Early Dogs, Warm Blooded Dinos, Louisiana Delta

Sharing some links from the past few days:1) Dehradun.A story of the transformation of a beautiful hill town to an ugly unplanned urban center. We shrug resignedly at many such tales from across the country. This one is of Dehradun. Himalaya towns can only be described as disasters in the making. Unscientifically built infrastructure on steep slopes,...

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