The Whole Saga of the Supercontinents

By now, you’ve surely picked up on the idea that the study of natural history is basically the study of how the world has changed. The study of how we all got here. And of course, the world continues to change, all the time. I mean, literally. I’m not just talking about how life adapts, or how the climate is changing. I mean the planet itself, as an object, is in a constant state of flux — because the ground beneath your feet is always moving. So, the place where you are right now was not always … there. For […]

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Volcanic evolution of the Pacific Northwest: 55 million year history

Active volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest result from a varied tectonic setting. Ocean-ridge rifting produces submarine volcanism offshore. Northwest subduction of the young Juan de Fuca Plate creates the arc of Cascades volcanoes. Hot-spot volcanism drives the Yellowstone caldera system. Continental extension plus a northward migrating triple junction add to the complex volcanic history. To look at the development of volcanism in the Pacific Northwest we will go back 55 million years to a time prior to stretching of the continent by Basin-and-Range extension and when Mesozoic subduction, compression, and crustal thickening had waned. At the end of the Cretaceous, […]

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