Friday Headlines, February 21, 2014
THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES
Mars’ mystery rock no longer a mystery
An earthquake in Bristol. (Wonder if it shook with a cool accent?)
Storms expose a fossil forest
I reported this one on January 24. A rock had seemingly appeared out of nowhere next to the Mars Opportunity rover.
Now scientists have figured out where it came from. It was a simple matter of driving the rover a little ways further, then looking back.
The image clearly shows a freshly broken rock right along Opportunity’s tracks. The broken rock and Pinnacle Island both have the same overall appearance.
So far as NASA scientists are concerned, this mystery is solved.
I don’t usually think of England as being a particularly tectonically active place. But here it stands as proof that earthquakes can happen anywhere.
There are no major tectonic boundaries in England. Such earthquakes tend to be small and occur on faults that have been reactivated to release tiny amounts of stress that have built up over millions of years due to more distant activity.
It doesn’t mean that parts of England are going to suddenly slip into the ocean.
This is just cool. Sea level rise some 4500 years ago blanketed a forest off the coast of Wales. This petrified forest is the basis for the legent of Cantre’r Gwaelod , a supposed lost kingdom. Recent storms have uncovered some new features of this petrified forest and the pictures are pretty cool.