A Deeper Understanding; Our Ever Changing Earth; Special Editions; by Mariette DiChristina; 1 Page(s)
It's so boring, the usual human's-eye view. Seasons come and go, but terra firma itself never varies. Even an earthquake or a mudslide seems like a random incident unconnected to any larger or more complex patterns.
But put on the lenses of a geologist and take another look. Reading the stories imprinted on the rocks and crystals gives scientists the ability to examine our world as it has evolved over millions, even billions, of years. From this vantage point, it is easy to see that Earth has been--and continues to be--a lively cauldron of change. Just as stop-action photography shows how buds burst into flower, geology gives us a picture of a living, changing planet. It even has a heartbeat of sorts, in pulsed releases of vast amounts of inner heat. The most recent occurred when dinosaurs still roamed, as Roger L. Larson discusses in "The Mid-Cretaceous Superplume Episode."