Top 10 Recent Geological Discoveries and Hypotheses

Leibnitz reworked Descartes’s cosmogony. Protogea was published much later in An essay toward a Natural History of the Earth. Woodward came down fairly strongly for the view that the flood was an act of God that could not be accounted for by normal physical processes. He also postulated hydrological sorting to account for the ordering of fossils. Whiston added comets to Burnet’s cosmogony as the source of the waters of the flood. Lectures and Discourse of Earthquakes and Subterranean Eruptions.

Paleogeographic Method

Acknowledgements Introduction his document discusses the way radiometric dating and stratigraphic principles are used to establish the conventional geological time scale. It is not about the theory behind radiometric dating methods, it is about their application, and it therefore assumes the reader has some familiarity with the technique already refer to “Other Sources” for more information.

As an example of how they are used, radiometric dates from geologically simple, fossiliferous Cretaceous rocks in western North America are compared to the geological time scale.

Radiometric Dating Radioisotope Dating of Rocks in the Grand Canyon Radioisotope Dating of Rocks in the Grand Canyon. by Dr. Andrew A. Snelling on June 1, Share: Email Using: Geological formations have names for ease of identification. The Vishnu Schist and other rocks of the Granite Gorge Metamorphic Suite. See Karlstrom, K.E.

Upon encountering a new site, the archaeologist immediately requires information about its age in order to set it in context with other sites. In research into our heritage the conservationist or architect may be able to date the general period of a building he is working with from either the situation, materials of construction, type of timber joints or other stylistic features. Almost certainly the century or portion of a century when it was built may be assigned with some certainty.

However, as more and more work is done and increasing numbers of structures with complex constructional phases are encountered, the general features may not be sufficient to give the accuracy in dating that is currently required. If research into other sources of information also fails to throw light on the building’s history, resort may be made to the various scientific methods of dating.

This article outlines three of the most important methods currently used for dating buildings or, in a complex situation, the order of construction within the building. Each method has a distinct role in the investigation of historic buildings. None is infallible and before embarking on an extensive dating survey, due thought must be given to what might be achieved and which methods might be the more successful. If necessary, seek advice. Whilst earlier types of wooden joints may be copied in later buildings and earlier styles may be reintroduced in later periods to confound the conservationist or historian, any reuse of older materials should become obvious by the use of the chronometrical methods described here.

The incorporation of ancient bog oak into a building, no matter how intricately carved or jointed, would immediately become obvious to the chronologist, as would timber renovations. He wanted to know whether the number of sunspots affected weather on Earth. If this were so, the width of the annual growth rings would show changes in synchronism with the sunspot numbers.

Changing Views of the History of the Earth

Share1 Shares Over its 4. Go back several billion years, however, and our planet was the real-life Waterworld. Any extraterrestrials zipping through the solar system 2. At this time, Earth was an almost uninterrupted ocean, with only 2—3 percent of the surface above water.

Oct 23,  · Studying and identifying formations is a key part of geology, and it allows geologists to do a number of things, from dating the landscape to identifying useful mineral deposits. Visualizing geological formations is easiest to do when one things about the landscape in cross section.

The Paleogeographic Method The study of paleogeography has two principle goals. The first goal is to map the past positions of the continents. The second goal is to illustrate the changing distribution of mountains, lowlands, shallow seas, and deep ocean basins through time. Mapping the Past Positions of the Continents The past positions of the continents can be determined using the following five lines of evidence: By measuring the remanent magnetic field often preserved in iron-bearing rock formations, paleomagnetic analysis can determine whether a rock was magnetized near the Pole or near the Equator.

Paleomagnetism provides direct evidence of a continent’s N-S latitudinal position, but does not constrain its E-W longitudinal position. The Earth’s magnetic field has another important property. Like the Sun’s magnetic field, the Earth’s magnetic field “flips” or reverses polarity.


Mineralogy As a discipline, mineralogy has had close historical ties with geology. Minerals as basic constituents of rocks and ore deposits are obviously an integral aspect of geology. The problems and techniques of mineralogy, however, are distinct in many respects from those of the rest of geology, with the result that mineralogy has grown to be a large, complex discipline in itself.

Nepheline greasy light gray , sodalite blue , cancrinite yellow , feldspar white , and ferromagnesian minerals black in an alkalic syenite from Litchfield, Maine, U. About 3, distinct mineral species are recognized, but relatively few are important in the kinds of rocks that are abundant in the outer part of the Earth.

The dating of geological formations is an example of a beneficial use of (1) isomers(2) electrolytes(3) organic compounds (4) radioactive nuclides5/5(5).

Measurement of N, the number of 14 C atoms currently in the sample, allows the calculation of t, the age of the sample, using the equation above. The above calculations make several assumptions, such as that the level of 14 C in the atmosphere has remained constant over time. The calculations involve several steps and include an intermediate value called the “radiocarbon age”, which is the age in “radiocarbon years” of the sample: Radiocarbon ages are still calculated using this half-life, and are known as “Conventional Radiocarbon Age”.

Since the calibration curve IntCal also reports past atmospheric 14 C concentration using this conventional age, any conventional ages calibrated against the IntCal curve will produce a correct calibrated age. When a date is quoted, the reader should be aware that if it is an uncalibrated date a term used for dates given in radiocarbon years it may differ substantially from the best estimate of the actual calendar date, both because it uses the wrong value for the half-life of 14 C, and because no correction calibration has been applied for the historical variation of 14 C in the atmosphere over time.

The different elements of the carbon exchange reservoir vary in how much carbon they store, and in how long it takes for the 14 C generated by cosmic rays to fully mix with them. This affects the ratio of 14 C to 12 C in the different reservoirs, and hence the radiocarbon ages of samples that originated in each reservoir.


The Radiometric Dating Game Radiometric dating methods estimate the age of rocks using calculations based on the decay rates of radioactive elements such as uranium, strontium, and potassium. On the surface, radiometric dating methods appear to give powerful support to the statement that life has existed on the earth for hundreds of millions, even billions, of years. We are told that these methods are accurate to a few percent, and that there are many different methods.

We are told that of all the radiometric dates that are measured, only a few percent are anomalous.

Geologic Formations The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a world-renowned showplace of geology. Geologic studies in the park began with the work of Newberry in , and continue today.

De Vivo3, and J. Europe was the birthplace of geological sciences. The first writers who have contributed something of geological significance were the ancient Greek philosophers Adams , such as Thales of Miletus c. AD and many others. Modern geology begins with Georgius Agricola in Germany AD , who was one of the most outstanding figures in the history of the geological sciences, not only of his own times, but of all time, and his rightfully called the “Forefather of Geology”.

Hence, the continent’s stratigraphy and structure has been studied for almost years. Initially, geology involved the examination and survey of surface rock exposures to prepare geological maps. More recently, understanding of the evolution of Europe’s continental crustal structure has been greatly enhanced by the interpretation of new types of geophysical and geochemical data. The present continent of Europe stretches from its submarine continental margin in the west to the Ural mountains in the east, and from the ancient and relatively tectonically stable rocks of the Fennoscandia Shield in the north, to the young, more tectonically and volcanically active zone, of the central and eastern Mediterranean in the south.

Geology Glossary

Share19 Shares Geology comprises the study of the solid Earth and the process by which it evolves. Geologists help provide primary evidence for plate tectonics and the history of life on Earth. In modern times, geology is used for mineral and hydrocarbon exploration and for evaluating water resources.

Among geological formations, continental deposits are often those with the poorest dating criteria, and they can represent very large window of time, particularly in cratonic areas. The Permian period in the Saharan platform is a typical example of such “geological gap”.

However, this article is just focus on Banded Iron Formation. Theory suggests BIFs are associated with the capture of oxygen released by photosynthetic processes by iron dissolved in ancient ocean water. Once nearly all the free iron was consumed in seawater, oxygen could gradually accumulate in the atmosphere, allowing an ozone layer to form.

BIF deposits are extensive in many locations, occurring as deposits, hundreds to thousands of feet thick. During Precambrian time, BIF deposits probably extensively covered large parts of the global ocean basins. The BIFs we see today are only remnants of what were probably every extensive deposits. BIFs are the major source of the world’s iron ore and are found preserved on all major continental shield regions.

Each layer is usually narrow millimeters to few centimeters. The rock has a distinctively banded appearance because of differently colored lighter silica- and darker iron-rich layers. It is a chemogenic sedimentary rock material is believed to be chemically precipitated on the seafloor. Because of old age BIFs generally have been metamorphosed to a various degrees especially older types , but the rock has largely retained its original appearance because its constituent minerals are fairly stable at higher temperatures and pressures.

These rocks can be described as metasedimentary chemogenic rocks. They provide an important source of iron for making automobiles, and provide evidence for the lack of oxygen gas on the early Earth. Cloud realized that the widespread occurrence of BIFs meant that the conditions needed to form them must have been common on the ancient Earth, and not common after 1.

Relative Geologic Dating