Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

And the mountain moved: Scientists study how Heart Mountain shifted

18.05.2006


The mountains skipped like rams…


– Psalm 114

"Moving mountains" has come to mean doing the impossible. Yet at least once in the past, one mountain relocated a fair distance away. This feat took place around 50 million years ago, in the area of the present-day border between Montana and Wyoming. Heart Mountain was part of a larger mountain range when the 100 km (62 mile) long ridge somehow became detached from its position and shifted about 100 km to the southwest. This "migrating mountain" has garnered interest from geologists and geophysicists around the world who have tried to solve the mystery behind the largest known instance of land movement on the face of any continent. Dr. Einat Aharonov of the Weizmann Institute’s Environmental Sciences and Energy Research Department, working in collaboration with Dr. Mark Anders of Columbia University in New York, recently published a paper in the scientific journal Geology that offers an explanation for the phenomenon.

Aharonov and Ander’s explanation is based on dikes – vertical cracks in the rock that fill with hot lava boiling up from deep in the earth. In Heart Mountain, these dikes formed a passage for the lava, three kilometers deep, through the limestone aquifer (a porous, water-soaked layer). There, the sizzling lava would have heated the water to extreme temperatures, causing tremendous fluid pressures. The scientists developed a mathematical model (based on the number of dikes in the mountain and their structure) that allowed them to calculate the temperatures and pressures that would have been created deep within the base of the mountain. The results showed that the infiltrating hot lava would have turned the water in the aquifer layer into a sort of giant pressure cooker, releasing enough force to move Heart Mountain from its original spot to its present site.

Jeffrey Sussman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht How reliable are shells as climate archives?
21.06.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>