The Two-Mile Time Machine

Richard B. Alley, Albert Bartlett
2002 American Journal of Physics  
ISBN: 0-691-00493-5 187 pp hardcover After WW II the invention of the piston corer revolutionized the study of the Earth by providing often continuous sedimentary records stretching back millions of years. Unlike land-based stratigraphy which characteristically discontinuous and focuses on terminal events that separate strata, the nature of deepsea cores opened the entire stratigraphic record to the geoscience community. What resulted from this study initially led to a revolution in our
more » ... tion in our understanding of the Pleistocene and, eventually, an extension of that detailed stratigraphy to older and older records stretching back to the Jurassic and beyond. Along the way, geochemistry became geology's most important tool for understanding the way the Earth works. But the marine record is inherently fuzzy -ubiquitous bottom-dwelling organisms stir the top layers of sediment so that the best time resolution attainable is on the order of centuries or millennium. Is the devil in the details?
doi:10.1119/1.1427313 fatcat:z7twxqoeqjbfzhakbnvtesrgly