The earth has a pattern, or what can be called a pulse. Research suggests that it is 27.5 million years per cycle!
Major geological events such as mass extinctions and volcanic eruptions, among others, happen all over the planet. While most of these may take us by surprise, these events may not be random. Such geological events are a part of a larger pattern, and based on 260 million years of data, a team of researchers at NYU has found each of these cycles to be 27.5 million years.
“Many geologists believe that geological events are random over time. But our study provides statistical evidence for a common cycle, suggesting that these geologic events are correlated and not random,” said Michael Rampino, a geologist and professor in New York University’s Department of Biology, as well as the study’s lead author.
Calling it a “pulse”, the team has made this observation using the latest age-dating data available and compiling data of over the past 260 million years. It notes that over the past 50 years, such a pulse was estimated to be 26 to 36 million years. However, this early work is said to have been hampered by age-dating limitations for geological events.
The team analysed 89 major geological events in the past 260 million years, concluding that the events are generally clustered around 10 different time-points over 260 million years. This included events such as volcanic eruptions, marine and land extinctions, oxygen depletion in the ocean, sea-level changes, tectonic plate changes, and more.
In addition to this, the authors note that these pulses, or timings of events, could entirely be the result of the internal dynamics of the earth, or of the external cycles in the earth’s orbit. With the last cluster of events having occurred over 7 million years ago, the next one is expected to be 20 million years away. While this chalks a big picture for geological patterns on earth, it does not mention factoring the impact of human activity.
The results of this study have been published in the Geoscience Frontiers journal.
I am a simple writer who wishes to use her skill to create more awareness about the planet that offers us life.