Questions tagged [earth-history]

Questions relating to Historical Geology.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
25
votes
5answers
13k views

What is the origin of the dominant atmospheric nitrogen content in Earth's atmosphere?

Comparing the atmospheric compositions of Earth with our nearest neighbours: As the table shows, the Earth's atmospheric nitrogen concentration is 78%, compared to 3.8% for Venus and 2.7% for Mars ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

How much of the petroleum ever formed has made it into reservoir rocks?

I am aware that it's a bit general a question, and petroleum geology (or petrology ;-)) has never been a field of interest to me. A superficial search using related keywords brings up only economic ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Why are the south, the west and the north of the Caspian sea lush but its east completely dry?

About the Caspian sea area today: The south is very lush with the subtropical forests of the Iranian provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan (although less "tropical" in Golestan) The ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Has a scientific consensus been reached concerning the formation of the Grand Canyon?

new student of Oceanography here! I'm studying Earth Science right now, and I found conflicting reporting re: the formation of the Grand Canyon; whether it was formed singularly by the Colorado ...
10
votes
1answer
202 views

How quickly is the Earth shrinking?

Except for ice, acetic acid, bismuth and gallium and a few other things materials generally shrink when they cool and solidify, so I'm pretty sure Earth has as well. It probably wouldn't be ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Is Earth an organism?

According to Wikipedia, "all known types of organism are capable of some degree of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development and self-regulation via homeostasis." Further, watching a ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

What was the oxygen concentration in the air during the late miocene period?

As the title says, I'd like to know what the O2 concentration was during the late Miocene period. I've tried to look this up but I'm having a hard time finding any conclusive data on it, or even any ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

puzzling statement on earth history!

A Geology proffessor recently told me that around 200,000 years ago, when homo sapiens emerged, that "...all of civilisation can now fit on the width of a single strand of human hair." I am ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Would it be possible, from the earth’s creation or during its various geomorphological changes, for all the following hypotheses to be probable?

I’m designing a fictional world setting for a game, and I would like to know whether it has a relative coherence based on science. (Don’t mind if it is an almost improbable scenario). Would it be ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

How far would average sea level rise from a 25% increase in total ocean volume?

What amount of average sea level rise (in meters above 2020 levels) would be associated with a 25% increase in total ocean volume? The reason I ask is because of this study that indicates Earth has ...
11
votes
3answers
246 views

Water on Mars and Earth

If water on Earth came from meteorites, why doesn't Mars have substantial water? What made it more highly probable on Earth than on Mars?
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Solution for the coexistence of overpopulated human species with nature [closed]

Is there any solution to deal with the overpopulation of our species at the same time protect the natural environment of ours? (other than finding a inhabitable planet?)
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Book on the history of Earth and life on Earth

I am interested in getting a better overview of the full history of the Earth and the evolution of life. Therefore I am looking for a book that goes through the different geological time scales of the ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Has Earth's geological activity calmed down in the past 250 million years?

In the past, the Earth's ecosystem has experienced catastrophic mass extinctions as a result of large-scale volcanic eruptions. One example is the event known as the "Great Dying", 252 ...
11
votes
2answers
414 views

Change in earth mass since the time of the dinosaurs

Is there a significant difference in the mass of the Earth between now and the time of the dinosaurs (250 - 75 million years ago)? I was just wondering if the force of gravity on dinosaurs would have ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

When did wildfires start to occur on earth?

An oxidizer, fuel, and heat are needed for a fire. When considering oxygen as the oxidizer, an oxygen concentration of approximately 16% is required for combustion. Plant material is the fuel ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Causes of fluctuations in atmospheric oxygen in past 300 Mya

I have two questions based on the history of atmospheric oxygen levels depicted below. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sauerstoffgehalt-1000mj2.png. The notes below the chart explain ...
7
votes
0answers
243 views

1950's - 60's Earth Science

I'm writing some lore for a fictional world, which is set in the 50's early 60's roughly. One thing I'd like to bring is a fairly grounded explanation for the creation of the planet and the universe, ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Have meteorites been found in the oldest sedimentary rocks?

Dropstones sometimes occur in sedimentary rocks. These are foreign rocks and boulders that happened to "drop" into a sediment and were fossilised when the sediment was lithified. (source: ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Are we entering a new Ice Age according to Milankovitch cycles?

Milankovitch cycles consist of three orbital parameters: eccentricity, obliquity, and precession of equinoxes. According to Milutin Milankovitch, the most recent glacial period ended nearly 11,000 ...
19
votes
4answers
18k views

What was the first rock in the rock cycle?

I am an undergraduate student but I am a tutor at a High School, and one student asked me. Attempting to explain the rock cycle "if one rock turns into the other then which came first" my gut is ...
0
votes
2answers
149 views

How was the onset of the Cambrian period dated?

What dating method was used to determine the beginning of the Cambrian, and what was its margin of error? Was only one fossil dated, or were a number of similar fossils used?
2
votes
0answers
82 views

What do scientists mean when they say the Earth formed 4.56 billion years ago? [duplicate]

Does that mean that the Earth gained the classification of a planet that long ago rather than some other celestial body? How did they determine that this happened that long ago? How discrete is the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What would it be like to live in an ice age?

If you were born in the most recent ice age, how different would your life be compared to how you live it today? Furthermore, if humans currently lived in an ice age, how would it affect life today?
1
vote
0answers
239 views

Geo-Spherical shape of Earth

I know that the best possible approximation of the shape of earth is an oblate sphere. But people also call it as geo-spherical shape of the Earth. What is the meaning of geospherical shape? Does this ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

What were the Two Largest Forests of Western and Central Europe (circa 600 BC)

I am trying to find out what forests were the largest in Western and Central Europe, around 600 BC. I understand that accounts dating that far back may be difficult to find, but I hope other sciences ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

Is Earth inhospitable?

It's thought that, shortly after Earth was done being refurbished resurfaced during the Late Heavy Bombardment, life abio-generated almost as soon as it was able to. The short delay led to speculation ...
4
votes
2answers
186 views

How many days has it been since the Cambrian explosion?

I want to know how to calculate the number of days since an event in Earth's past, and am using the Cambrian explosion as an example. I define a day to be one rotation of Earth with respect to the ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

What has been the influence of the moon on Earth's temperature?

What proportion of Earth's internal heat is generated by tidal flexion as a result of the orbiting moon, and would it have been significantly greater four billion years ago when the moon was closer? ...
0
votes
0answers
90 views

Earth-like conditions on Titan: is it feasible that Titan once had seas and lakes of liquid water?

Given that: 1) Four billion years ago Saturn was hotter and radiated strongly in the infra-red. . . . . . . . . . 2) Like Earth's moon, Titan was then closer to its planet. . . . . . . . . . 3) Like ...
3
votes
2answers
214 views

How long ago was the first limestone formed?

It is readily apparent from the fossil record that the first limestone was laid down hundreds of millions of years ago, but how long ago was the very first limestone formed? It could be approximately ...
7
votes
1answer
217 views

Where did the continents come from?

In animations that show the location / drift of the continents over the aeons, it seems that the continents (or cratons?) are just floating / drifting around, sometimes fusing or splitting, but having ...
5
votes
2answers
89 views

Why are $\small\sf{CH_4}$ and $\small\sf{CO_2}$ levels coupled during the Pleistocene?

CH4 and CO2 levels show correlation throughout the Pleistocene: Source: trustyetverify.wordpress.com What are the reasons of this coupling?
5
votes
1answer
246 views

What Caused The Sea Levels to Drop During the Maastrichtian Epoch?

Anyone who has studied ice ages would know that during the last two-and-a-half million years of Earth's history, there have been periods where there was enough ice to suck up a lot of water. As a ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

What were the geometric coordinates of the Chicxulub impactor 66 million years ago?

At the moment around mexico we can find the leftovers of the Chicxulub impactor which could have extincted most dinosaurs. But 66 million years ago was after the breakdown of Gondwana. So back to ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Has Earth's atmosphere lost mass throughout the geological ages due to biological $\small\sf{CO_2}$ fixation?

Stromatolites and other organisms have been storing $\small\sf{CO_2}$ in the form of $\small\sf{CaCO_3}$ throughout the geological ages, forming extensive limestone deposits scattered across Earth's ...
8
votes
1answer
453 views

Where did the atmosphere's nitrogen come from? [duplicate]

According to Wikipedia's article Atmosphere of Earth: Outgassing from volcanism, supplemented by gases produced during the late heavy bombardment of Earth by huge asteroids, produced [Earth's ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Earth History Book

I'm a PhD student studying the (current) climate of the Earth. I'm also quite interested in the history of planet Earth, although I have little academic background in that area. Is there a good ...
0
votes
2answers
220 views

Original Diameter of Ancient Impact Craters [closed]

The 2.25 billion-year-old Yarrabubba crater in Western Australia has recently been identified as the world's oldest impact crater. It is said to be 43 miles (69 km) in diameter, yet the photo which ...
3
votes
0answers
164 views

Cratonization - how did the Archean cratons form?

Before the onset of modern style plate tectonics and the Wilson cycles in the late Archean, it is thought that smaller units of continental crust, called cratons, roamed the oceanic crust over a more ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

How did Earth's plate tectonics start?

Plate tectonics is a theory which describes Earth's lithosphere as being composed of distinct plates which are able to move atop of the underlying asthenosphere. At plate boundaries, this movement ...
10
votes
2answers
223 views

With so many positive feedbacks accelerating global warming, how did the earth ever re-enter ice ages after it came out of one?

We hear a lot about positive feedbacks when it comes to global warming. For example: ice reflects solar radiation, so as the ice melts more solar radiation is absorbed which accelerates warming; ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the fastest the Earth has ever spun?

How fast can the Earth rotate and support life? In prehistoric times, dinosaurs were so massive that archeologists wonder how they were not crushed under their own weight. Could a faster spinning ...
1
vote
1answer
152 views

How can radiometric dating of meteorites determine the age of the earth? Wouldn't this only determine the age of the decaying nuclide in each rock? [duplicate]

How can the radiometric dating of different meteorites determine the age of the earth? Wouldn't radioactive decay have already been occurring in all of those meteorites long before they hit earth? ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Can someone provide a map of Nazca lines with this image in it?

I found this image of a bird with another image below its right wing on google earth in nazca peru. Is there any maps or infomation available that can help me identify this one? Kind regards Jeff B.
25
votes
3answers
37k views

Why is Earth's inner core made of an iron-nickel alloy?

This question has puzzled me for a while. I know that earth's mantle is made of different minerals, metals and rocks etc. and that has always made complete sense to me. But why is the inner core made ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

How Good is The Evidence For Snowball Earth?

Some geologists say there were times between 770 million years BP and 630 million years BP when ice ages were so profound that the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps met at the equator. This is called the ...
2
votes
1answer
176 views

Do earthquakes produce folds on rocks?

Earth rocks are frequently folded at surface. Folds in alternating layers of limestone and chert in Crete, Greece. Source: commons.wikimedia Are earthquakes the main mechanism ...
5
votes
2answers
114 views

Molten salt seas on the future Earth

As the sun gets brighter, the oceans are expected to evaporate by the next billion years or so (the vapor slowly gets stripped off into space). The salt, which is less dense than most rocks, will be ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

How old is the Earth?

According to most articles I've read online, the estimated age of Earth is 4.5 billion years. Question: How old is the Earth? So I actually want to confirm that this is the case. Maybe there are ...