The Chalky Cretaceous: 2 – The Eye of the Sahara

The Eye of the Sahara

Having set the scene in the previous posting it is now time to introduce the geologic cast.

There are many familiar names in the geologic cast.

Unfortunately, many of these players have been assigned geologic “stage names” that obscure their true identity [and character] from the audience.

This is particularly true when it comes to “sedimentary rocks”.

The general message promoted by the mainstream is that “sedimentary rocks” are formed from material that has come from the weathering of rocks.

Sediment
1. Material that settles to the bottom of a liquid; lees.
2. Solid fragments of inorganic or organic material that come from the weathering of rock and are carried and deposited by wind, water, or ice.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sediment

This message is reinforced by the opening sentence of the Wikipedia entry for “sedimentology”.

Sedimentology encompasses the study of modern sediments such as sand, mud (silt), and clay, and the processes that result in their deposition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedimentology

The truth is more complex and far more interesting.

However, untangling the geologic classifications and conventions is not straightforward because geology is the “demilitarised zone” between two opposing forces: religion and science.

The “peace” was brokered between religion and science when geology endorsed the principle of uniformitarianism and transformed geology into just another faith system.

The scientific basis of this is the principle of uniformitarianism, which states that the sediments within ancient sedimentary rocks were deposited in the same way as sediments which are being deposited at the Earth’s surface today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedimentology#Basic_principles

Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe. It has included the gradualistic concept that “the present is the key to the past” and is functioning at the same rates.

Uniformitarianism has been a key principle of geology and virtually all fields of science, but naturalism’s modern geologists, while accepting that geology has occurred across deep time, no longer hold to a strict gradualism.

Uniformitarianism was formulated by British naturalists in the late 18th century, starting with the work of the geologist James Hutton, which was refined by John Playfair and popularised by Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology in 1830.
The term uniformitarianism was coined by William Whewell, who also coined the term catastrophism for the idea that Earth was shaped by a series of sudden, short-lived, violent events.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism

Thus, the two faith systems divided the spoils of “war”.

Religion now controls the “fast creation” of the Earth in six days.

Geology now controls the “slow erosion” of the Earth over billions of years.

However, picking through the entrails of the geologic faith system does reveal some good observational information that can guide us towards a better understanding of cretaceous chalk.

Perhaps a good starting position is to recognise the import role played by oxygen.

Oxygen forms 10% of the atmosphere, 47% of the crust and nearly 85% of the oceans.

Chemical composition of the crust

The geochemist F. W. Clarke calculated that a little more than 47% of the Earth’s crust consists of oxygen. The more common rock constituents of the Earth’s crust are nearly all oxides; chlorine, sulfur and fluorine are the only important exceptions to this and their total amount in any rock is usually much less than 1%. The principal oxides are silica, alumina, iron oxides, lime, magnesia, potash and soda. The silica functions principally as an acid, forming silicates, and all the commonest minerals of igneous rocks are of this nature.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_elements_on_Earth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth

Clearly, oxygen is concentrated in the Earth’s crust and oceans well beyond the average level of 30% attributed to the entire planet.

It is composed mostly of iron (32.1%), oxygen (30.1%), silicon (15.1%), magnesium (13.9%), sulfur (2.9%), nickel (1.8%), calcium (1.5%), and aluminium (1.4%); with the remaining 1.2% consisting of trace amounts of other elements.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth#Chemical_composition

Additionally, other elements have anomalously high surface concentrations.

Hydrogen forms 10% of the oceans but is just part of the “remaining 1.2%” of trace elements.

Aluminium, Carbon, Calcium, Silicon and Sodium seem to be concentrated as oxides in the crust.

Underlying these observations is a simple question that geology is loathed to address or answer:

How did the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere and minerals form?

The usual mainstream misdirection is to talk about extraterrestrial water and meteoric oxygen.

One look at the Moon is enough to inform the casual observer that this is nonsense.
One look at the oxide levels in the Earth’s crust informs the average observer this is nonsense.
One look at the element distribution within the Earth informs the observer this is nonsense.

The simple answer is planetary outgassing.

The process of planetary outgassing and mineral formation is still ongoing.

Sully vent - black smoker

A black smoker or sea vent is a type of hydrothermal vent found on the seabed, typically in the abyssal and hadal zones. They appear as black, chimney-like structures that emit a cloud of black material. The black smokers typically emit particles with high levels of sulfur-bearing minerals, or sulfides. Black smokers are formed in fields hundreds of meters wide when superheated water from below Earth’s crust comes through the ocean floor. This water is rich in dissolved minerals from the crust, most notably sulfides. When it comes in contact with cold ocean water, many minerals precipitate, forming a black, chimney-like structure around each vent. The deposited metal sulfides can become massive sulfide ore deposits in time.

Champagne vent - white smoker

White smoker vents emit lighter-hued minerals, such as those containing barium, calcium, and silicon. These vents also tend to have lower temperature plumes. These alkaline hydrothermal vents also continuously generate acetyl thioesters, providing both the starting point for more complex organic molecules and the energy needed to produce them. Microscopic structures in such alkaline vents “show interconnected compartments that provide an ideal hatchery for the origin of life”.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrothermal_vent

Dead_trees_at_Mammoth_Hot_Springs

The hot water that feeds Mammoth comes from Norris Geyser Basin after traveling underground via a fault line that runs through limestone and roughly parallel to the Norris-to-Mammoth road. The limestone from rock formations along the fault is the source of the calcium carbonate. Shallow circulation along this corridor allows Norris’ superheated water to slightly cool before surfacing at Mammoth, generally at about 170 °F (80 °C). Algae living in the warm pools have tinted the travertine shades of brown, orange, red, and green.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammoth_Hot_Springs

Steam_Phase_eruption_of_Castle_geyser_with_double_rainbow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Geyser

The silicon rich emissions [currently associated with White Smokers and Geysers] lead back in time [via the fossil record] to the early Jurassic Period around 180 million years ago mainstream chronology] when the oceanic seafloors started stretching.

The hot hydrothermal waters emitted by the Jurassic Period “white smokers” were rich in silicone [which oxidised upon exposure to oxygen in the atmosphere] and dissolved Silicon Dioxide – SiO2.

Silicon dioxide, also known as silica (from the Latin silex), is a chemical compound that is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2.

Silicon dioxide is formed when silicon is exposed to oxygen (or air).

The solubility of silicon dioxide in water strongly depends on its crystalline form and is 3–4 times higher for silica than quartz; as a function of temperature, it peaks at about 340 °C.

This property is used to grow single crystals of quartz in a hydrothermal process where natural quartz is dissolved in superheated water in a pressure vessel that is cooler at the top. Crystals of 0.5–1 kg can be grown over a period of 1–2 months.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_dioxide

However, a fascinating aspect of dissolved silicon dioxide is that as the solution cools the silicon dioxide forms crystals which precipitate out the water to form a family of natural minerals.

Silicon Dioxide Precipitates – SiO2

Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth’s continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2.
There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones:
Agate, Amethyst, Aventurine, Citrine, Jasper, Onyx, Tiger’s Eye…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz

Chert is a fine-grained silica-rich microcrystalline, cryptocrystalline or microfibrous sedimentary rock that may contain small fossils…
Chert occurs as oval to irregular nodules in greensand, limestone, chalk, and dolostone formations as a replacement mineral, where it is formed as a result of some type of diagenesis. Where it occurs in chalk or marl, it is usually called flint. It also occurs in thin beds, when it is a primary deposit (such as with many jaspers and radiolarites).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chert

Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz,[1][2] categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones…
The exact mode of formation of flint is not yet clear but it is thought that it occurs as a result of chemical changes in compressed sedimentary rock formations, during the process of diagenesis. One hypothesis is that a gelatinous material fills cavities in the sediment, such as holes bored by crustaceans or molluscs and that this becomes silicified. This theory certainly explains the complex shapes of flint nodules that are found. The source of dissolved silica in the porous media could arise from the spicules of silicious sponges.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint

Paramoudras, Paramoudra flints, Pot stones or Potstones are flint nodules found mainly in parts of north-west Europe: Norfolk (United Kingdom), Ireland, Denmark, Basque Country and Germany. In Norfolk they are known as Pot Stones and can be found on the beach below Beeston Bump just outside of Beeston Regis. In Ireland they are known as Paramoudras. Pot Stones are flint nodules with a hollow center and have the appearance of a doughnut (torus). They can be found in columns resembling a backbone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramoudra

Silicate minerals make up the largest and most important class of rock-forming minerals, constituting approximately 90 percent of the crust of the Earth. They are classified based on the structure of their silicate group which contain different ratios of silicon and oxygen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicate_minerals

The mainstream suggest paramoudra “are trace fossils of the burrows” of an unknown organism.
An alternate probability is that they are silica sinters that formed around hot springs and geysers.

However, the mainstream is positive when it states that silica is found in the cell walls of diatoms.

Diatoms

Diatoms are a major group of algae, and are among the most common types of phytoplankton. Most diatoms are unicellular, although they can exist as colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons (e.g. Fragilaria), fans (e.g. Meridion), zigzags (e.g. Tabellaria), or stars (e.g. Asterionella). Diatoms are producers within the food chain.

A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are encased within a cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called a frustule. These frustules show a wide diversity in form, but are usually almost bilaterally symmetrical, hence the group name. The symmetry is not perfect since one of the valves is slightly larger than the other allowing one valve to fit inside the edge of the other.

Fossil evidence suggests that they originated during, or before, the early Jurassic Period.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatom

Unfortunately, the mainstream has a real problem with the Earth’s vast swathes of quartz sand.

World_largest_deserts

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Desert

An erg (also sand sea or dune sea, or sand sheet if it lacks dunes) is a broad, flat area of desert covered with wind-swept sand with little or no vegetative cover…

Approximately 85% of all the Earth’s mobile sand is found in ergs that are greater than 32,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi).

Issaouane Erg - Algeria

Issaouane Erg (Sahara Desert), Algeria – International Space Station.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erg_%28landform%29

The mainstream states [with a straight face] that these vast tracts of uniform quartz sand are formed by “wind erosion” of other “copious sources of dry, loose sand” that are downwind.

Sand seas and dune fields generally occur in regions downwind of copious sources of dry, loose sand, such as dry riverbeds and deltas, floodplains, glacial outwash plains, dry lakes, and beaches. Almost all major ergs are located downwind from river beds in areas that are too dry to support extensive vegetative cover and are thus subject to long-continued wind erosion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erg_%28landform%29

This amazing [and amusing] display of circular logic by the mainstream is a very sad indictment of geology. Clearly, the mainstream geologists can’t locate any precursor mountains of quartz to support their narrative of “long-continued” erosion and deposition. Clearly, the geologists are loathed to admit than quartz crystals precipitate when [silicon rich] hydrothermal water cools and evaporates.

Whilst the mainstream “buries its head in the sand” others, such as Gary Gilligan, are asking:

Where did the Sahara sand come from?

It did not exist 6,000 years ago.
Experts are proposing that vast oceans of sand formed in less than 3,300 years.
This is impossible because Saharan sand is some of the oldest on the planet.

Putting this into context means that an area the size of the US has been covered in a vast sea of sand in what has to be the blink of an eye in geological terms.

This makes no sense because the time frame for the formation of the sand does not allow it according to consensus theories.

If the adjoining deserts swathing out across the Middle East and Asia are also considered, this equates to an area twice the size of the US. Where did all this sand come from?

http://www.gks.uk.com/Sahara_Desert_Chaos/

Wikipedia explains away the Sahara in terms of “shifts in the Earth’s axis” and “climate change”.

The Sahara was then a much wetter place than it is today.

Over 30,000 petroglyphs of river animals such as crocodiles survive, with half found in the Tassili n’Ajjer in southeast Algeria. Fossils of dinosaurs, including Afrovenator, Jobaria and Ouranosaurus, have also been found here.

The modern Sahara, though, is not lush in vegetation, except in the Nile Valley, at a few oases, and in the northern highlands, where Mediterranean plants such as the olive tree are found to grow.

The region has been this way since about 1600 BC, after shifts in the Earth’s axis increased temperatures and decreased precipitation. Then, due to a climate change, the savannah changed into the sandy desert as we know it now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahara

This is “strong stuff” coming from Wikipedia but it still doesn’t answer Gary Gilligan’s question.

The solution to the Sahara sand mystery can be found in the “sedimentary” basins of North Africa.

West African Basins

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoudeni_basin

The Taoudeni Basin, for example, is the largest “sedimentary” basin in Northwest Africa where the “sediments” are about 6,000 metres deep.

Taoudeni_Basin_Section

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taoudeni_basin

Within the Taoudeni Basin in west–central Mauritania [near Ouadane] is an extinct source of “low-temperature hydrothermal waters” that is 40 kilometres wide.

Richat Structure

The Richat Structure, also known as the Eye of the Sahara and Guelb er Richat, is a prominent circular feature in the Sahara desert of west–central Mauritania near Ouadane.

This structure is a deeply eroded, slightly elliptical, 40 km in diameter, dome.

A more recent multianalytical study on the Richat megabreccias concluded that carbonates within the silica-rich megabreccias were created by low-temperature hydrothermal waters, and that the structure requires special protection and further investigation of its origin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richat_Structure

Guelb Er Richat

https://maps.google.es/maps?hl=es&ll=21.314964,-10.917664&spn=1.330502,1.766052&t=k&z=9

The Eye of the Sahara evidently outgassed water, silica and carbonates.

The Eye of the Sahara evidently helped sustain a Sahara “lush in vegetation” only 6,000 years ago.

The Eye of the Sahara evidently precipitated the quartz sand found in the Sahara desert.

The Eye of the Sahara predicts the fate of the Earth when the outgassing stops.

The next posting in this series will trace the origins of chalk back to the outgassing of carbonates…

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4 Responses to The Chalky Cretaceous: 2 – The Eye of the Sahara

  1. Hi Tim,
    “The Eye of the Sahara evidently precipitated the quartz sand found in the Sahara desert.”

    I strongly doubt the Eye of the Sahara was the source of vast oceans of sand. If somehow quartz crystals condensed from solution in the way you suggest, this would be one hell of a production line requiring an almost immediate dissipation of the sand by either water or wind otherwise the vent would simply clog up, especially when considering how the ‘Eye’ lies within a basin and the vast quantities of sand involved.

    Also, how many tons a year of quartz do you propose the Eye of the Sahara produced? Surely this would be unfeasibly slow, possibly on a par with the conventional absurd weathering of granitic rock over billions of year scenario. If there were many thousands of quartz sand producing vents dotted all over the Sahara you may have a case but for one vent to pump out so much sand… can’t see it.

    “The Eye of the Sahara evidently helped sustain a Sahara “lush in vegetation” only 6,000 years ago.”

    Can we have it both ways? If the ‘eye’ churned out vast quantities of sand then, as today, this is not conducive to a lush green world teeming with life. Also, it’s more than probable such a vent would be too acidic to support life and vegetation, as with the many acidic vents at Yellowstone (Norris Geyser Basin).

    What of the other deserts around the 30th parallel? Such as the vast Arabian Desert which can be directly compared with the Sahara, inasmuch as a similar network of rivers and lakes (& wildlife) also lie beneath the sands of the Arabian Desert. http://www.heritagedaily.com/2012/05/ancient-network-of-rivers-and-lakes-found-in-arabian-desert/ Do you propose similar hydrothermal vents also created the Arabian Desert? Is there evidence for this?

    “Clearly, the geologists are loathed to admit that quartz crystals precipitate when [silicon rich] hydrothermal water cools and evaporates.”
    Quartz crystals have been found in minute quantities on the edge of some hot springs in Yellowstone Park – oxidized by the water, the crystals show signs of iron staining on the surface. However, in regards to their origin, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Jake Lowenstern (https://profile.usgs.gov/jlwnstrn/) had this to say (Email correspondence).

    “They’re simply quartz crystals (phenocrysts) from the Lava Creek Tuff eruption that are residual after dissolution of the rest of the rock by the acid spring water. It’s nature’s way of making a mineral concentrate.”

    In other words we have the dissolution of volcanic rock containing quartz grains – given the toughness of quartz, this seems to be in order.
    You mention silica sinter deposits. Sinter can be found growing around hot springs worldwide. It forms when high concentrations of dissolved silica (SiO2) precipitate out as hot spring waters cools – silica can no longer remain dissolved in solution resulting in silica sinter. Sinter is also made of silicon dioxide, however, is a very different form to the quartz sand found in deserts such as the Sahara.
    I would suggest we look to the vast open sky and recent cosmic chaos for the origin of such vast oceans of sand.

    The sand aspect of my theory which has developed somewhat.

    Extraterrestrial sand

    I have dubbed the geological sand feature which spans out west from the Himalayas (South Asia), across the Middle East and North Africa the ‘Great Sand Scar.’ It is extraterrestrial in origin and was created when the warring god-king Mars ‘docked’ above the Trans-Himalayas (thus raising them) and birthed its solid iron core Mercury (Egyptian Aten) through the Valles Marineris (same diameter as Mercury). During this almost incomprehensible event (even to the most ardent of catastrophists!), Mars, as a seething hot molten red disk (dominant in Egyptian art) internally and externally convulsed ejecting tons of volatiles, dust and gasses and of interest here immeasurable quantities of vaporized rock rich in silica (silica 70% plus = granitic magma) and iron vapour mainly from around the Martian core.

    The gravitational superiority of earth saw much of this fall into earth’s atmosphere. Indeed a gigantic cosmic “tree of life” or Hanging Gardens of Babylon (today; Xmas tree; the time of the year, the Yule solstice dictated by Mars final breakaway) formed as the two atmospheres intermingled.

    Earth’s atmosphere becomes dense with silica vapour, water, iron rich clays, dust and debris and other elements (all from Mars). The silica content becomes so concentrated it precipitates out as mainly quartz crystals, followed by (in quantity) feldspars and other minerals which fall to earth in great swathes of sand around the 30th parallel. The thin iron oxide coat contained on most desert grains (giving them their reddish colour) forms as individual grains become coated in moisture rich in iron clays. An analogy would be dust forming the nucleolus for raindrops.

    As the evidence reveals oceans of sand were quite literally dumped on top of lands that were up until very recently very green, extremely wet and teeming with life. Large amounts of sand remain in low-lying depressions today as they are less affected by aeolian processes. Tons of sand was also (as you would expect) dumped in the oceans, these now ‘washed’ quartz grains form the majority of the beaches we see today.
    There were many such deposits over many millennia. In what was essentially an accretion process (assisting in an expanding earth) I would suggest numerous sedimentary deposits around the globe owe their origin to extraterrestrial events, and most occurred in the last 6,000 years.

    The precipitation of minerals from the atmosphere, why not? More than 100 metric tons of meteoric debris vaporizes as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere every day. These consist mainly of metals like sodium (Na), Iron (Fe), silicon (Si), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca) and various oxides. The evaporated material forms the Atomic Metal Layers.
    http://www.athena-spu.gr/~upperatmosphere/index.php?title=Metallic_Layers
    Clay minerals in the atmosphere
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007JD008973/abstract
    It’s highly likely the impurities found in minerals (e.g. iron in quartz) also occurred during the crystallization process.

    The varying size and colour of sand grains are as a result of varying condensation rates, moisture content, density of elements, temperature, etc. (there are so many variables). Added to this, ground level processes also obviously played a part.

    I believe the process I have described above is still going on today albeit on a negligible scale. In support of this I would first state the obvious fact: MINERALS CAN CONDENSE FROM A GAS IF THE DENSITY IS SUFFICIENTLY HIGH. Now, what if earth’s silicon layer was enriched by a massive bombardment of meteoroids? I’m talking about the ablation of tons upon tons of rock, when then? It stands to reason there has to be saturation point at which quartz crystals begin to form. If not, then what? Are we to believe dense silica gas would dissipate in some other way or just linger indefinitely? You know where my money is – it crystallized and fell to earth.
    I hope to add something on my web in the near future.
    Gary Gilligan
    http://www.gks.uk.com/

    • malagabay says:

      Gary:

      Thanks for your very thought provoking comments.
      It’s great to get feedback, constructive criticism and “push back”.

      My personal perspective is that there are a large number of “issues” confronting the mainstream narrative regarding the history of the Earth which [needless to say] are being ignored [and “papered over” in peer review] by the mainstream.

      Unfortunately, this significantly hinders any objective analysis of the “evidence” because the published record has been specifically constructed [filtered, diluted, filleted, sliced, diced, half baked, overcooked and tortured] to support the mainstream narrative.

      These obstacles make the process more rewarding in the long term.
      Unfortunately, in the short term, this means a number of “dead ends” and “bad ideas” are explored.

      I strongly doubt the Eye of the Sahara was the source of vast oceans of sand.
      If somehow quartz crystals condensed from solution in the way you suggest, this would be one hell of a production line requiring an almost immediate dissipation of the sand by either water or wind otherwise the vent would simply clog up, especially when considering how the ‘Eye’ lies within a basin and the vast quantities of sand involved.

      Perhaps the key phrase is: this would be one hell of a production line.

      The Earth’s surface is covered with vast oceans of water and the continents are blanketed with vast “sedimentary” deposits of calcium carbonate and silicon dioxide.

      This observation leads to the simple question:

      Where did all the water, calcium carbonate and silicon dioxide come from?

      Answering that question is not so simple.
      Especially if the Earth’s original surface was covered in igneous rock.

      For example:

      The Taoudeni Basin in Northwest Africa is a “sedimentary” basin that is about 6,000 metres deep.

      The water that initially covered the Taoudeni Basin [making it an inland sea] probably drained away into the Atlantic and Mediterranean basins as the continents broke apart and the ocean basins formed.

      But where did the water originally come from?

      There seem to be two possibilities: a) inside the Earth [via outgassing] or b) from outer space.

      My personal view is that water doesn’t travel well in outer space because ice sublimates and water vapour is subject to photodissociation [into oxygen and hydrogen] when exposed to solar radiation.

      Therefore, my preference is to look towards the exothermic outgassing of numerous elements and compounds [including water, calcium carbonate and silicon dioxide].

      However, regardless of preference, the physical evidence indicates “one hell of a production line”.

      That is “one hell” of a fact that we have to acknowledge.

      In the longer term the outgassing vents may eventually “clog up” – especially when the internal pressure drops – and there are plenty of clogged up vents in the geologic record:
      https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/going-down-the-tubes/

      However, there are still numerous active vents – especially in the oceans:
      https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/the-chalky-cretaceous-2-the-eye-of-the-sahara/

      Additionally, as the ocean vents indicate, the vents “extend” vertically as the level of “sedimentation” increases on the sea floor. Thus, the dispersal of “sediment” is not really an issue for undersea vents that are exothermally outgassing at pressure.

      Also, how many tons a year of quartz do you propose the Eye of the Sahara produced? Surely this would be unfeasibly slow, possibly on a par with the conventional absurd weathering of granitic rock over billions of year scenario. If there were many thousands of quartz sand producing vents dotted all over the Sahara you may have a case but for one vent to pump out so much sand… can’t see it.

      Whether we are talking about water, calcium carbonate or silicon dioxide the bottom line observation is that there was “one hell of a production line” and the scheduling of this production line is basically contained within the geologic record [which indicates there were numerous vents https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/going-down-the-tubes/ ]

      The Eye of the Sahara imagery was selected as an example because of its scale and visual impact. There are probably many other such vents [of various sizes] that can be found buried in the official record or buried under the “sediment”.

      Can we have it both ways?
      If the ‘eye’ churned out vast quantities of sand then, as today, this is not conducive to a lush green world teeming with life. Also, it’s more than probable such a vent would be too acidic to support life and vegetation, as with the many acidic vents at Yellowstone (Norris Geyser Basin).

      The active oceanic vents indicate planetary outgassing is noxious.

      Individually, the chemical brew delivered by a vent will vary over time as the outgassing process dissipates and the rock surrounding the vent becomes leached.

      Collectively, the resulting hot noxious sea [“soup”] with slowing cool and many of the noxious elements and compounds will begin to combine and precipitate out of the “soup” whilst other compounds are cleansed from the “soup” as evaporites and [fossilised] phytoplankton.

      The cleansing of the noxious seas is clearly evident in the geologic record.
      The cleansing of the noxious seas is clearly evident in the Earth’s lakes, seas and oceans.

      Do you propose similar hydrothermal vents also created the Arabian Desert?
      Is there evidence for this?

      There is ample evidence of [continental] inland seas and “vents” in the geologic record.
      These ancient inland seas are associated with deposits of calcium carbonate and silicon dioxide.
      Therefore, there is prima facie evidence to support the outgassing hypothesis.

      Unfortunately, reviewing the entire geologic canon may take some time.

      I would suggest we look to the vast open sky and recent cosmic chaos for the origin of such vast oceans of sand.

      There is plenty of evidence to support the “cosmic chaos” hypothesis because there is lots of debris.
      https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/the-other-big-bang-theory/

      There is plenty of evidence that the Earth accumulates debris from outer space.
      https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/geology-mind-the-gap/

      Undoubtedly, some of the Sands of the Sahara came from outer space.

      Whether most of the Sands of the Sahara came from outer space [or more specifically Mars] needs additional research [in my opinion] – especially in the context of ocean sediments.

      Marine Sediments
      Ocean bottom sediment map. Lithogenous areas are mauve, biogenous areas are purple and brown (purple = siliceous ooze, brown = calcareous ooze), and hydrogenous areas are blue.
      http://www.marinebio.net/marinescience/02ocean/mgbottom.htm

      The chances are that neither of us is entirely right nor entirely wrong because there are frequently many contributory factors associated with any observed phenomenon.

      Regards
      Tim Cullen

  2. Ricardo Villanueva says:

    I think there might be an alternative (perhaps most important) source of ejection of carbonates across North Africa at the end of the holocenic. I would suggest to look at a circular formation in the Saharan with well defined rounded shape as the cráter of a vulcano, west Sabha, Libya. Its diameter is at least 40 Km. Has there been any research conducted on the geological conditions of this área?

    REPLY
    Another very interesting structure… Thank you.

  3. Pingback: The Eye of Nebraska | MalagaBay

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