In the bestselling tradition of "The Map that Changed the World" and "Longitude" comes the tale of a seventeenth-century scientist-turned-priest who forever changed our understanding of the Earth and created a new field of science. It was an ancient puzzle that stymied history's greatest minds: How did the fossils of seashells find their way far inland, sometimes high up into the mountains?
Shadows Live Under Seashells by Allan J. Ashinoff - Fiction - Objectivism Online Forum
Fossils only made sense in a world old enough to form them, and in the seventeenth century, few people could imagine such a thing. Texts no less authoritative than the Old Testament laid out very clearly the timescale of Earth's past; in fact one Anglican archbishop went so far as to calculate the exact date of Creation October 23, , B. A revolution was in the making, however, and it was started by the brilliant and enigmatic Nicholas Steno, the man whom Stephen Jay Gould called "the founder of geology.
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With his groundbreaking answer to the fossil question, Steno would not only confound the religious and scientific thinking of his own time, he would set the stage for the modern science that came after him. He would open the door to the concept of "deep time," which imagined a world with a history of millions or billions of years.
And at the very moment his expansive new ideas began to unravel the Bible's authoritative claim as to the age of the Earth, Steno would enter the priesthood and rise to become a bishop, ultimately becoming venerated as a saint and beatified by the Catholic Church in Combining a thrilling scientific investigation with world-altering history and the portrait of an extraordinary genius, "The Seashell on the Mountaintop" gives us new insight into the very old planet on which we live, revealing how we learned to read the story told to us by the Earth itself, written in rock and stone.
Direitos autorais. Although it occurs in many different forms, its origins can be traced back to either chemical or biochemical processes that occurred in the geological past, often tens to hundreds of millions of years ago. Many different types of marine organisms have developed the ability to precipitate calcium carbonate from seawater to serve as a protective shell or exoskeleton. For example, scallops have a two-piece outer shell that can be opened to allow the scallop to feed and closed to give protection, whereas bryozoans produce an outer casing within which they can live.
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When these organisms die, their shells accumulate on the seafloor. The soft parts decay, leaving only the hard shells exoskeletons or tests , which typically become broken down by current action and biological predators.
Over long periods of time, the loose skeletal sediments are transformed into bioclastic limestone by the addition of a chemically precipitated carbonate cement between the shell fragments. In the warm low-latitude waters of the tropics, these are called tropical bioclastic limestones, while in the cooler waters, at mid to high latitudes, they are known as temperate bioclastic limestones. In the case of large congregations of tropical marine organisms, like reef-building corals, the normally very large structure remains intact as it is transformed into tropical limestone reef rock.
Shadows Live Under Seashells
Converting accumulated cool-water shell sediments into rock consists of several steps. Firstly, the shell fragments are slowly compacted as the weight of the accumulating sediment increases. Compaction forces the shell fragments closer together, reducing the space between the fragments and driving off some of the contained water.
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Some of this water may be rich with dissolved calcium carbonate, and this may later precipitate as calcite cement crystals in the pore spaces. Gradually, the fragments are cemented together, completing the second step in the process. Finally, further compaction and burial may cause some alteration or recrystallisation of the calcite to make the rock even harder.
25 Beautiful Images of Seashells
In the warm-water tropical setting, deep compaction of the sediments is not required to cement them. Here, the waters are supersaturated in calcium carbonate, which precipitates out of solution as crystals of aragonite cement, binding the shell material together. Some limestones are formed by direct chemical precipitation from marine and other waters saturated with calcium carbonate.