Sunday, July 10, 2011

Land environment found deep under the sea

It's a unique find in geology. Deep beneath the floor of the Atlantic lies a landscape which was once exactly that. Boreholes have brought up pollen grains. It seems the 10,000-sq km area rose rapidly to the surface, survived about 25 million years, and was submerged again. That's fast indeed by the standards of "deep time." The result is a sandwich with a terrestrial landscape between much longer-lived layers of marine landscape. It's far too old to be Atlantis - by about 56 million years - but the comparison is irresistible.

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