The Picture above says it all. Albuquerque New Mexico is just over the little hill to the west. The Pacific (tectonic) Plate gradually collides with the North American Plate On the western edge of the continent, along the famous ‘San Andreas Fault’ over a 1,000 mi (1,600 km) West,
ever so slowly raising the Rocky Mountains by pushing the ‘Farallon Plate’
into a shallow subduction under the North American Plate, eventually raising the Rocky Mountains and causing a depression across a portion of the western and interior states to gradually flood them intermittently during a time when the ‘Glacial melt’ temperatures were uniformly warm from Pole to Pole over the entire Earth, and ‘Eustatic’ sea levels were high, much higher, hundreds of feet higher, than today, which is the NORMAL status for Earth. Kevin Costner’s ‘Waterworld’ of course was just another Hollywood exaggeration, but it is close to what periodically occurs, more often than Snow Caps and Ice Sheets, those are the true ‘abnormality’. The scientists will have to figure that one out some day. Possibly the Suns activity in regard to the ‘Claw Hypothesis’?
Of course there is also an ‘Anti Claw’ hypothesis to go along with it. All of this debating, centers around a smelly thing in our everyday life.
A product overwhelmingly of the sea,
as well as our everyday lives. A sulphur compound that is an element of great concern to ‘climate change’ students, otherwise known as ‘climatologists’, the real ones of course, not the political ones. Possibly it contributes substantially to the 400 year warm/cool cycles, possibly not.
Sorry Polar Bears, It doesn’t matter that you are so ‘cute’, you will just have to ‘evolve’. Schools teach, that’s how you came ‘to exist’ anyway. BTW, how did you survive the last much warmer period about 800 to 1,000 years ago? I’m sure you were not totally confused by ‘researchers’ in a boat that wanted to study you and caused you to loose all sense of direction and drown in the ‘study’ process. This type of well meaning ‘researcher’ should be abolished.
Western Interior and Hudson Seaway during the mid-Cretaceous, about 100 million years before the present.
A serene setting with a magnificent shallow sea was formed up through the Western States, and extending across parts of North America for way over 1,600 Kilometers (1,000 miles) East towards the Apalachian Mountains. A depth not much deeper than 8 or 9 hundred Meters (2,700 feet). Large Sea Creatures as well as the prolific smaller fish to satisfy their appetites, were plentiful.
The perfect Earth. It lasted for well over 50 million years. No People complaining that it is too warm or too cold. Absolutely No Ice Caps anywhere.
The interesting Tube Worms, shellfish, similar to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonite formed and accumulated on the Eastern side of the Sandia Mountains to the East of Albuquerque, are still there today in the 300 feet (91 meters) of stratified limestone formations around the 10,000 Ft (3,048 m) level. Yes the mountain did rise quite a bit over the last 10 million years. The Western face gradually sheared away and dropped 5 miles (8km) down. That’s another story.
East of Albuquerque about a 30 minute drive. Pay the $3 Day use fee, hike the North 10K trail down through the Limestone rock slab ‘clear cut’. (about 37 years ago, the forest Service had started a new, controversial, Scenic Crest Highway) Hike about 1/4 mile North, if my 37 years ago memory serves me, the edge of the Limestone is exposed off to your left (West) side, Good luck. Even if you don’t find it, it’s a great scenic hike, with a beautiful panorama of the Northern and Eastern mountains and ridges. You can just stand and imagine the shallow sea stretching over the horizon. The waves washing ashore at your feet.
Update; I drove the 25 mi (40.2 km) back to the site today. I-25 East through Tijeras Canyon, East of Albuquerque. Turn off at Hwy 14 then follow signs North to hwy 536. Left (East) up the Sandia National Forest Scenic Byway towards the top of the Sandia Crest, about 12 mi (19 km) on your right the parking lot will be marked with it’s sign designating 10 K North and 10 K South trails. This point is at the 10,000 ft (3,048m) level. The Crest is another 678 ft (206m) vertical higher.
I walked the trail to the spot I remembered. The face of the Limestone outcropping was changed by persons interested in the ‘invertebrates’ fossilized in it. They are no longer easily visible. I only found the little circular outlines of Tubeworms on rocks laying on the ground along the trail. Sometime another slab will fall away, exposing more.
there are millions of years of them throughout the 300 foot layer, so enjoy the hike, I did.
Now back to the Cretaceous Cruise;
The temperature is nice and tropical to sub-tropical. The boat you choose for this cruise should be bigger than a runabout. I suggest a 34 foot (10 meter) Carver, with a qualified Captain that has open ocean fishing experience. Several of the Sea Creatures are quite large, some carnivorous predators, and may desire a taste.
How about an 18 meter (59 feet) Mosasaur? He ate anything, even other Mososaurs. One was found with a partially digested much ‘supersized’ meal in his innards. He could have gotten a real bad case of indigestion and it ‘snuffed’ him out. The proclivity for ‘Gluttony’ has existed for a long time apparently.
I do not recommend a ‘chewy’ small rubber ‘Zodiac’ like the ‘Greenpeace’ activists prefer at times. Many sea creatures are up to 18 meters (59 feet) long. The fish predator, Plesiosaur ( fabled Nessie?) fossils found in Colorado measured up to 13 meters (42 ft) with 20 feet of it being neck. The longest of all, the 24 meter (78 ft) Ichthyosaur, a very big, very predatory Dolphin found in Australia, dated from 220 to 210 mil years ago, was most likely extinct by then.
Carnivorous Sharks (Megalodon) at one previous time grew upwards to 52 feet (16 meters) or more, longer than buses. They weighed up to 30 tons. Prolific remaining large fossilized teeth (13 cm/5 in) and jaws are testimony. The North American Inland Seaway as it is referred to, connects the Northern Pacific (Arctic) Ocean to the gulf of Mexico. The Eastern portion runs up through what is known today as Hudson Bay.
Cruises of this shallow Sea are beautiful with sights that you have never seen before. The slowly rising Rocky Mountain Coastline, along the edge of the shallow sea, presents a new panorama with each nautical mile. Colorado, Utah Wyoming, Montana, and upwards through Canada give an awesome history lesson of times much warmer than today. The CO2 laden atmosphere is slowly accumulating in the algae and crustaceans, while producing up to 90% of the Earths Oxygen, just as today.
If you have any doubts about the length of time the ‘Mid Cretaceous period’ lasted (over 50 mil years) just check out a few sites visible today that indicate the depth of the Calcium carbonates deposited.
The beautiful Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico are the solidified ‘carbonates’ deposited during those times. I strongly suggest a visit. Standing on the edge of the high Mesa rimrock (ancient shoreline) and looking eastward toward Texas, you can imagine the vast Inland Sea stretching away over the horizon. Even today Texas and many other states up through Canada make extensive use of the limestone
that resulted from the organisms of that sea. It can be seen in the prolific building material. (limestone blocks) Driving along highways from Texas up through Kentucky and other states, will reveal the limestone stratification levels where the hills have been cut away to allow for a more level highway.
The US National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, just happen to be where we can tour inside the massive, fascinating cavities.
The massive rooms and formations are to this day still being created by the rainwater seeping down through the deposits, dissolving them and re-releasing the stored CO2. “Oh no, say it isn’t so”, as a blogger friend http://varifrank.com tells about the National Parks and the openly visible volcanic action releasing stored CO2 through out History.
Today I read some information in the latest Popular Science magazine August 2007. The scientists almost claim that maybe they could have prevented this from occurring. At least they tell us that they think they can control it in the future. Just send them money and they will stop the Earth from these ‘displays of irresponsibility’.
Read the article “Engineering a Better Earth”. Today there seems to be a lot of ‘Catastrophism Worshipers’ complaining about the Greenland Icecap retreating faster than they have observed in, what I refer to, as Recent ‘present day’ History. During times in the past, Greenland was mostly submerged in Ice, and then later, as recently as nine hundred years ago, had a climate similar to Europe.
The ‘Inuit’ from Siberia, living on the Northern shore of Greenland, reported to Greenland’s ‘Viking colony’ on the southern shore, an open ‘Northwest Passage’.
The great European explorers tried many times to rediscover it, but they were several hundred years too late, the 400 year ‘warming’ cycle (documented through shipping records) had ended. They paid for their lack of knowledge by getting frozen into the Ice. Only after 1850, did the cycle begin to warm again and the passage was conquered in 1906.
The Northwest Passage is in the news lately because when it becomes easily navigable it will cut off thousands of miles of shipping travel from the Western European countries to the Asian ports. The Panama Canal will have the pressure somewhat reduced. Russia is already trying to stake their claim to the North Polar region. I see conflict in the future, The Bible says “There will (always) be wars and rumors of wars”.
The lowest sea level ‘ever attained’ was 250 million years ago (Permo-triassic boundary) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian-Triassic_extinction_event We are not far above that extremely low level, even today. Geologic studies show the ‘normal average’ sea level as being much, much higher with ‘ICE CAPS BEING THE RARITY’.
Only 4 to 5 times were there ‘Ice Caps’ in the history of Earth, and even then, they were ‘relatively’ brief periods, starting and ending quite rapidly.
Even all of this 80 million year Cretaceous http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous ‘Eden’ was brought to an abrupt end around 65 million years ago, as any ‘Jurassic Park’ Dinosaur wandering around the shoreline at the time could tell you.
All ‘snuffed out’ by a Meteor 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide, that whacked into the Yucatan Peninsula.
Enjoy this beautiful Creation we call Earth. When the time comes, Earth ‘WILL’ repair itself…With or without Humanity. In the meantime study a bit of Climatology yourself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fr5O1HsTVgA Watch the entire 5 part series. It’s quite interesting.