|Text to be formatted | Images to be added||[CD-Rom Home]|
MAX PARRISH LONDON
MAX PARRISH AND CO. LTD 1-5
PORTPOOL LANE LONDON E.C.I
GEOLOGICAL CHRONOMETRY: THE SHORT TIME CLOCKS
Methods of Geological Chronometry; The Radiocarbon Method of Libby; Ionium Method;
The Helium Method; Uranium in the Oceans; Tritium; A Salt Trap Basin Chronometry; Varves
GEOLOGICAL CHRONOMETRY: URANIUM-THORIUM-LEAD
Need for Re-evaluation; Nuclear Reactions; Uranium -- Thorium Accretion; Steady State Distributions;
Zone Melting; Isotope Ratio Method; Analysis of the U--Th--Pb 'Time Clocks'
GEOLOGICAL CHRONOMETRY: RUBIDIUM-STRONTIUM; POTASSIUM-ARGON
Rb87/Sr87 K40/A40 Concordance; Isotopic Ratio Chronometry
GEOLOGICAL CHRONOMETRY: NON-RADIOLOGICAL METHODS
Tidal Friction; Salt in Oceans; Sedimentation; Astronomical; Heat Balance of the Earth; Helium in Meteorites and Rocks; Sodium in the Oceans; Radiation Damage Chronometry
MANTLE CONVECTION CURRENTS AND CONTINENTAL DRIFT
Models of Continental Drift; Convection Current Model; Viscosity; Depth Profiles According to the Ree--Eyring Viscosity Relations; Conclusions.
TERRESTRIAL EXPANSION, CONTRACTION AND EARTH MODELS
Status of Expansion and Shrinkage Hypotheses; Energy Requirements in Terrestrial Expansion; Isostatic and Gravitational Stability; Horizontal Balance and a 'Salt Dome' Model of the Origin of the Continent Pangaea
ICE CAPS AND THE STRENGTH OF CONTINENTS
IGY Results; Evidence for Recent Rupture of Continental Crust; Analysis of Crustal Stresses and Fracture Under an Ice Cap; Total Crustal Depression and Rate of Relief; Uplifts in Canada and Fennoscandia; Tensile Splitting of Crust
Stages of Earth History; Stage One; Stage Two; Splitting of Western and Eastern Continents; Avalanche Model
THE DISTRIBUTION OF CONTINENTS
Structural Evidence; Distributions of Drift; Stage Three; Stage Four; Terrestrial Seismicity and Glaciations
GEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE FOR ICE CAP MODEL
'Shields and Welts'; Continuity of Shield Rock; The Terrestrial Carbon Inventory
RANK AND OCCURRENCE OF COAL
Rank of Coal; Occurrence of Coal; Thrust Model of Coal Deposition
ORIGIN AND GEOLOGY OF OIL AND GAS
Physical Chemistry of Oil and Gas; Sudden Deep Burial Hypothesis; Radioactive Age Measurements; Geographic Occurrence; Geologic Occurrence; Trap Reservoir Relations; Conclusions
OVERTHRUSTS, BASINS AND UPLIFTS
Hydrostatic and Geostatic Pressures; Over-thrusting; Crustal Shortening
Theory of Palaeomagnetism; Crustal Movements and Palaeomagnetism
LIFE, EVOLUTION AND THE FOSSIL RECORD
Unsolved Problems of Life Science; Physico-chemical Aspects of Life
CRITIQUE ON EVOLUTION
Time and Evolution; Fossils; Fossil Anomalies; Fossil Succession
THE author is a physical chemist (PhD, Yale, 1937) with a career in explosives, high velocity impact, solid state, surface chemistry and related problems in chemistry, physics and metallurgy, but no formal training in geology, having studied it only by self discipline for the past decade. The present volume is, therefore, the work of 'an outsider'. His interest in the problems concerning earth science became strong after discovery of evidence that the earth's atmosphere may not be in steady state as far as radiocarbon is concerned even though only about 30,000 years are required to establish this steady state as shown by Libby. Presentation of this evidence in open forums usually met with vigorous debate. In order, therefore, to provide the facts pertaining to this and related matters, the bulletin 'Geological Chronometry' [Cook, 1956] was presented. It made available for careful study arguments on this matter presented in lectures given in the Geology Department, University of Utah in 1955.One of the more interesting arguments concerned the helium balance of the earth and its implications concerning age, which was later published [Cook, 1957]. An attempt to publish another manuscript giving direct evidence for the short-time chronometry of the atmosphere and oceans entitled 'Anomalous Chronometry in the Atmosphere and Hydrosphere', not unexpectedly nor without some cause, met with considerable opposition and was not published. Interestingly enough, the apparent fact that radiocarbon is not in steady state in the atmosphere was the main objection. Lingenfelter  was only recently able to point this out.
Chapters I to IV, inclusive, are the updated result of studies on problems of 'geologic time' which it is hoped have taken full account of all objective criticism so far obtained. The author's conclusion based on this work, is that there really are no reliable time clocks despite an almost overwhelming contrary opinion.
During the course of this study of geologic time, considerable new information and experimental results of IGY were coming to the forefront, suggesting that continental drift may no longer be an unacceptable theory but rather a fairly well-supported one. This all tended to generate further interest and belief in the original contention. The big question in the author's mind was: how were geologic time and uniformitarianism going to survive an established continental drift, which would seem to strike at the very foundations of Historical Geology?' Geologists had previously postulated the concept of growing continents, and their models of sedimentation depended on this concept. Now they were confronted with a permanent, previously unbroken -- prior to the split of Pangaea - granitic crust that has really scarcely been touched by erosion during the entire history of the earth.
After considerable study of continental drift, a bulletin summarized arguments that great ice sheets may be responsible for continental drift ['Continental Dynamics', 1961]. Some of the ideas outlined in this bulletin were later expanded and published [Cook and Eardley, 1961; Cook, 1963]. These developments are presented in a somewhat expanded form in Chapters V and VI, Chapters VII and VIII presenting the qualitative and some quantitative aspects of this model of continental drift. A paper entitled 'Analysis of Crustal Stresses and Continental Drift in an Ice Cap Model' was presented at a National meeting of American Geophysical Union 171963]. It is reproduced in expanded form in Chapter VII. One (written) comment on this paper by Dr J. C. Jaeger was as follows:
The author has produced a very interesting idea, which this referee has not met before, namely that the stresses caused by the load and flow of a large ice cap might be sufficient to cause the break-up of a continent postulated in many theories of continental drift.
'This is an important idea and well worth working out quantitatively, since these stresses certainly exist, and, even if they were not adequate in themselves to cause break-up, they might be when added to stresses from other sources (e.g. convection).'
While one would think that the mere acceptance of continental drift would be sufficient to upset the previous concepts of prehistory, this has apparently not even been suggested. Still a full comprehension of the catastrophic implications of continental drift, especially under an ice cap model -- the only one yet developed which can account for the required forces -- seems to the author to insure this ultimate result. That the catastrophic ice cap model of continental drift probably does no real violence to the facts and observations is
indicated by the discussions in Chapters IX and X amplified from the author's paper concerning continental drift  dealing largely with geographical and geological facts marshalled from a number of the best, most modem books available to the author and reinterpreted in the ice cap model of continental drift.
Chapters XI and XII represent a catastrophic viewpoint concerning the origin of coal, oil and gas. Coal, oil and gas occurrences seem to the author to be much more realistic under the ice cap model than under the conventional uniformitarianism.
Chapter XIII deals with some modern developments concerning crustal distortions, over-thrusting and rock mechanics that also seem to require catastrophism. Chapter XIV outlines evidences based on palaeomagnetism, and finally, Chapters XV and XVI present the modern interpretation and a critique of the author on life, fossils and evolution.
The fact should be considered noteworthy that a catastrophic model is possible apparently conforming well with known facts and accounting for the earth's morphology at least in its broader aspects. There are really many modern discoveries that seem to require consideration of catastrophes much more prominently than scientists have been willing to admit in the past. In this regard an interesting note by a prominent Paleontologist, Dr Norman Newell [Newsweek, Dec. 23, 1963], emphasized the need for catastrophic models and advocated the coining of a new word to permit thinking in terms both of catastrophic and uniformitarian concepts. While this volume emphasizes catastrophe, this should not be viewed as an attempt to focus attention entirely away from uniformitarianism, because slow and uniform changes obviously do occur, though they may be more than offset at times by catastrophes.
The discovery that the atmosphere, oceans and rocks of the crust may all be relatively young carries, of course, a strong implication that the earth also may be young. This implication, however, is denied by the author. Surface features of the earth are subject to rapid and catastrophic changes that tend to erase all history predating such events. The relative time analyses presented in this volume deal, therefore, only with specific surface features after these several or more catastrophes. The author has seen no way to date the earth as a whole, since the evidence presented herein denies that there is a sound basis for assigning it an age of 4.5 billion years based on the U--Th--Pb time clocks. Such evidence as that discussed in Chapter IV
would indicate that the universe itself may be even older than 4.5 billion years. In fact, because an expanding universe concept seems to the author to be ruled out by energy considerations, he would assign an infinite age to the universe and deny an explosive origin. This would mean that the materials of which the earth is comprised have always existed though they are subject to changes even as drastic as inter-conversions between light and matter.
As far as the earth itself is concerned, how long it has existed in globular form is a matter completely outside the knowledge and possible objective discussions of the author. The earth may be as old as the universe itself, it may have formed from other bodies of the universe, it may simply have condensed from materials ejected in gaseous and plasma form from other bodies or it may have condensed from the materials of interstellar space. The reader is, therefore, asked simply to consider each specific problem of discussion as pertaining only to that feature of the earth's surface (lithosphere, atmosphere or hydrosphere) to which each such discussion applies.
On the other hand a very interesting implication of this study is that not only are the sedimentary rocks relatively young, but also, therefore, are their occluded fossils. This implication, based on what the author considers to be hard facts, has an important bearing on the prehistory of life. The problem here is of real and important concern. Such a serious implication should not be ignored by biological and earth scientists.