Wednesday, December 31, 2014
So, I broke my ankle back in October, and after surgery and as a result, work and parenting has sucked up pretty much all of my time. And the geosonnet backlog has finally run its course. Also, although the "moon boot" is marketed as bing for walking, it doesn't seem to be particularly good for walking on lava. I'm guessing it was designed by a non-geologist.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
On Mars and Venus air is CO two,
While on the Earth it is but a trace gas.
Our rocks and water scrub the gas into
The stable carbonates, which won’t degas.
In torrid climates, weathering is fast.
Cold rivers transport unreacted grains
Fluvial temperature in eons past
Can be deduced with XRF and brains.
The elements in sediments explain
An early Permian heats up and thaws.
Jokulhlaups warm up more than the jungle rain
Digesting rocks chewed up by glacial jaws.
This weathering drew down the CO two
But not enough for ice to grow anew.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
From flood basalt hot sulfur will exhale,
Across the dying planet, smog bank draped
The genie left the bottle, empty grail,
No evidence what long ago escaped.
The lava flows forget what they degassed
A fleeting daydream, lost with time’s progress
But though a hundred million years have passed
The clinopyroxene preserves the S.
Partitioning experiments defined!
A synchrotron or ion probe can see
The sulfur clouds to which we once were blind
Are quantified now, analytically.
Sulfurous magma wrecked the biosphereWhile clean eruptions let life persevere.
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Our early atmosphere was quite anoxic
‘till early algae terraformed the Earth.
One grand event, replacing gasses toxic?
Or did O oscillate since life’s first birth?
Did evolution make fate manifest?
Inexorable progress of the gene?
Or was the early oxygen repressed?
Methanogenic dominance was seen.
These visions of our past yearn to be fact.
Hypotheses distinct yet plausible.
The dawn of life’s mysterious, abstract,
Lest ancient rocks reveal what’s causable.
Archean soil lets us know the way.
Oxygen came, but then it went away.