The hypothesis of a large meteorite impacting the surface of the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous was introduced almost four decades ago. In the ensuing years, the geologic community gathered a large body of data in support of this hypothesis, elevating it to the status of a universally accepted fact of Earth history. However, competing models and lively discussions are still unfolding over the dynamics and environmental consequences of this large impact.
Iceland is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic Ocean, slightly below the Arctic Circle. The island is situated on a mid-ocean ridge at the boundary between the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. In Iceland, we find evidence of horizontal movements, in which two plates spread apart as the crust dilates with intrusion of new magma. Iceland, however, is also associated with a mantle plume (a narrow stem of upwelling of magma from deep in the mantle) that has maintained volcanism high and vigorous.
To consider a much more rapid, catastrophic geological past challenges the naturalistic origin of life and of major categories of life forms. Do we want to know if that naturalistic interpretation is really correct or not? As scientists, are we open to consider what really happened in the past, or are we satisfied to limit our explanations to fit a pre-determined set of assumptions?
Fossils speak of catastrophic burial by water in many areas of the world, thus contradicting the uniformitarian model. A growing number of modern geologists concur with this view, although they may not accept the theory of a universal flood. Those of us who rely in the biblical story of a universal flood find in the fossil record abundant evidence that the surface of the earth once experienced the convulsions of a catastrophic destruction.
Geologic features of the KT boundary present interesting evidence relating to possible causes of the mass extinction. The widespread existence of the boundary clay has been interpreted as evidence for a worldwide event at the boundary. Published in Origins v. 17, n. 1.
The earthquake in Mexico reminds us that catastrophes are a frequent, although unpredictable, experience. Geologists have emphasized the ordinary event, under the name uniformitarianism, but are increasingly accommodating to the reality of catastrophism. Published in Origins v. 12, n. 2.
The presence of various kinds of megabreccias in the geologic column, showing in some cases the transport of extremely large clasts, indicates energy levels on a scale that staggers our imagination. Published in Origins v. 5, n. 1.
A review of the book, The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record. The geologic record can be described as long periods of relative calm punctuated by brief catastrophic events. Numerous geologic features can be traced over large portions of the earth's surface. Published in Origins v. 2, n. 2.