Tag Archive: Geology

A 3.4 billion-year-old snapshot – Fossil Friday

There are amazing things to learn in the world of palaentology and archaeology and then there is this. Things that just blow it off. Indeed, in this week’s Fossil Friday we’ll be discussing about a 3.4 billion-year-old fossil. One that dates back to the times when Life appeared on Earth. And we’re not talking about some old finding, no, no, we’re talking about a discovery that was published this week.

photograph of fossil microbial mat

Photograph of the facies of the studied rock formation. On the close up on the right, thin sheets (laminations) can be observered (taken from Duda et al.).

These precise fossils are called stromatoliths, (more…)

Surtsey’s suspended fate

Have you ever wondered what happen to volcanic islands that rise from the sea? Footage of their rising out of the ocean is always spectular but no one ever mentions what goes on next. Think things remain the way they are? You would be so wrong, so many slow processes occur. Actually, many of new volcanic islands never last long until they fall apart back on the seafloor or are eroded by the waves.

We’ve taken the example of Surtsey, which is a tiny island off the coast of Iceland in the Atlantic Ocean. It rose from the depths a bit more than 50 years ago but it has already been largely gnawed away by the ocean. Will it survive the erosion process? Scientists have studied it ever since its birth and only a study of its geologic evolution can answer this question. Have a look…
Infographic on the geologic evolution of the volcanic island of Surtsey

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Visual credits: (more…)